Win Tickets to Cooking Up Couture

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On Friday, August 22nd, the first ever Cooking Up Couture event is happening in Philadelphia. The event food and fashion showcase is hosted by Jen Groover and will featured hand-crafted cocktails as well as bites from some of Philadelphia’s hottest chefs, including Top Chef winner Nick Elmi (Laurel), Chopped champion Georgeann Leaming (SUPPA) and Brad Spence (Amis). Proceeds will benefit Philabundance. The event is being hosted at Front & Palmer, 1750 N Front Street and runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now for $75 per person but we’re lucky enough to be giving away a pair to a lucky Foobooz reader.

How the contest works » 

Best of Philly Snapshot: Nicholas Elmi, Best Celeb Chef

best-of-philly-2014-logo-400x400There was this moment, shortly after the finale of Top Chef: New Orleans had aired, shortly after Nick Elmi had been named the winner, when another chef walked up to him at one of the big food events in town, shook his hand, congratulated him, and asked him what the hell he was thinking, opening a 22-seat restaurant.

Because, seriously? When you win Top Chef, you suddenly become one of the most famous chefs in America. At least temporarily. Shoot, even losing on the show can be enough to raise you up out of obscurity and turn you into a brand — a known name who can draw down the dollars just by having been featured on the jumping box for a few hours. Cookbook deals, product endorsements, cruise-ship gigs — it all comes to you. And a big-ass restaurant with high-volume turnover on the floor? Of course. That’s just a given.

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DIY Down the Shore: Nick Elmi’s Traditional (But Not Traditional) Clambake

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Nick Elmi’s BYO, Laurel has captured the appetites of those who frequent East Passyunk’s restaurant scene. And chef Elmi’s Traditional (but not traditional) Clambake needs only his introduction (below) for you to understand that this recipe is indeed very special.

So fire up the grill, gather everyone you know (seriously, this one calls for a party) and get your ingredients together because this weekend seems like the perfect time for a clambake.

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Nick Elmi on CBS This Morning

Nick Elmi is having quite the 2014 so far. His win on Top Chef became public, his Laurel has been praised by the critics and has just been nominated for a James Beard Award for Top New Restaurant. All of this has made his restaurant impossible to get into. Elmi is preparing to open up June resteverations to Laurel sometime next week.

This past weekend he appeared on CBS This Morning and talked about his start in the kitchen and prepared a  rustic cacciucco dish for the show.

Laurel [Foobooz]

2014 James Beard Semifinalists Announced

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The 2014 James Beard Foundation Semifinalists have been announced. Local chefs and restaurateurs and restaurants made it to the semifinals in ten categories including Outstanding Restaurant, Fork, and three nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chris Kearse, Will, Ben Puchowitz, Cheu Noodle Bar and Ben Nerenhausen, Mistral (Princeton, NJ).

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Philly Cooks May Be Your Only Chance At Tasting Nick Elmi’s Food Any Time Soon

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So it’s not like Laurel was easy to get into before chef Nick Elmi was named Top Chef last week. With 22 seats, a five-night-a-week dinner schedule and an already well-known white jacket in the kitchen, it was never going to be a walk-in kind of joint.

But now, with the TV and the fame and everything else, it’s just bonkers. As I’m writing this, Laurel’s Open Table reservation system is down–I assume because it has just plain melted–but last I heard, you were looking at a wait of months for a prime table, and weeks for anything at all. But there is another way…

See, Laurel is one of the restaurants that’s going to be at Philly Cooks this year. And there are still a few tickets left for the big event, happening Wednesday the 19th. So if you’re interested in tasting the food that won Elmi the big prize, this might be your only chance for a good, long time.

Here’s hoping we see you all there.

Philly Cooks Tickets [The Big Event]

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