Free Cooking School For Ten Of The Best Working Cooks In Philly

Cook Masters is back--and this time it's for pros only.


With everyone else headed back to school this week, we got to thinking. You know what we haven’t done in a while? Gotten together with the crew from COOK and planned out a new semester of their COOK Masters program.

For those of you who maybe haven’t heard of this before, here’s how it works. The COOK Masters program is an intensive, nine-week professional course that meets once a week (generally Mondays, though a couple of Tuesdays as well) for personal instruction in basic and advanced cooking techniques taught by some of the biggest names in town. We’re talking Peter Woolsey from Bistrot La Minette (and La Peg) doing sauces, Heather Thomason from Kensington Quarters showing you how to break down whole pigs, Vedge’s Rich Landau educating you on the basics of vegan food. No, seriously. Rich Landau–one of the best and most respected vegan restauranteurs in the country. And he’s going to hang out with you for an afternoon to talk about cooking with vegetables.

And the best part? It’s all free.

The not-so-good part? Space is extremely limited, and this year we’ve decided to limit the student body to only working cooks and those recently graduated from culinary school. We’re calling it our “professional development curriculum” and I can promise you this: There is simply no better way for you to sharpen your skills and get yourself in front of some of the best chefs in Philly than to score a space in this program.

Below is the class schedule for this year’s program.

Monday 10/19: Health + Nutrition with Katie Cavuto
Tuesday 10/20: Sauces (Post-Mother) with Peter Woolsey
Monday 10/26: Pig Butchery with Heather Thomason of Kensington Quarters
Monday 11/2: Vegan with Rich Landau
Monday 11/9: Fish with Josh Lawler
Tuesday 11/10: Professional Prep with Kristina Burke
Monday 11/16: Pasta with Andrew Wood
Tuesday 11/24: Menu Development with Ben Puchowitz + Jason Sheehan
Monday 11/30: Pastry with Monica Glass

So what do you have to do to throw your hat in the ring and be considered for a spot this semester? Simple. We’ve got an online application for you to fill out which can be found here. Check all the boxes, answer all our questions, and those of you who make it past the first cut will be hearing from us soon to schedule personal interviews.

The deadline for applications is September 15 at 11:59pm. And remember: This time around we’re only considering working cooks and cooking school students with some time spent working in a professional kitchen. No home cooks this time. No talented amateurs. No bond traders looking for a midlife career change. This one is pros only, and we’re serious about that. We don’t care if you’ve just come back from a stage at Noma or if you’ve spent your whole life cooking in diners and juke-joints (you’d be surprised how many of us got our start that way), but you’ve got to have a few scars on you to get the free ride this time.

So you’ve got two weeks, folks. Here’s hoping we’ll be talking to some of you real soon.

COOK Masters Program [Online application]