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May 2011

Where’s the Beef? At the Inaugural Philadelphia Burger Brawl

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Ahhh, the hamburger: beloved staple of backyard barbeques turned year-round American delicacy. You may have dreamed of spending a day eating nothing but. Well… now you can!

For the first time, on June 4th, 18 of Philly’s top grill-masters will put their patty-making skills to the test at the first annual Philadelphia Burger Brawl.

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Gluten-free Cooking Classes

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COOK friend, and gluten-free cooking guru, Genevieve Sherrow (AKA the Gluten-free Warrior), will be teaching two gluten-free cooking classes next month at Reading Terminal Market‘s La Cucina at the Market.

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The Vendys are coming! The Vendys are coming!

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Launched in New York City in 2005, The Vendy Awards is a street food showcase and an intense cook-off between the best sidewalk chefs in the city.  What Mario Batali called “the Oscars of food for the real New York” will make its Philadelphia debut this July. The inaugural Philly event will be a fundraiser for The Food Trust, the Philadelphia non-profit organization that strives to make healthy food available to all.

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Tomorrow: Don’t miss the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival

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Festival lovers and Rittenhouse Square devotees won’t want to miss tomorrow’s Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival: a food and fashion fest taking place from noon-5 p.m. along Walnut Street between 19th and Broad Streets.

The event is free and will take place rain or shine. Expect it to draw a huge crowd!

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Philly Beer Geek 2011

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Push up your spectacles and put down your glasses. It is time to shine, geeks. Philly Beer Geek 2011 is upon us.

Beer geeks should not be confused with snobs. Beer is joyous, welcoming, inexpensive, and, for the most part, accessible. Beer is simple and plentiful like the cheesesteak or the pretzel – and equally Philadelphian at this point. Even in Philly (where retail beer costs are stupid expensive, relative to almost any other state) we almost never pay more than $10 a glass or $25 dollars a bottle for even the most hyper-limited of beers and the majority of craft beer costs somewhere between $2.50 – $5 per bottle.

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Brunch is served

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Nikki Hill, former sous chef at Barbuzzo and future James Beard Foundation Award winner (mark my words!) and partner, Claire Wadsworth, former and future keyboard/piano wunderkind, are hitting the streets of Northern Liberties, making brunch the most important (and delicious) meal of the week.

Collectively known as La Copine, the pair is launching La Copine Brunch Cart at Garden Variety, the outdoor event space formerly part of the defunct Arbol Cafe. Starting this weekend, and running throughout the summer,the La Copine Brunch Cart will be in the 2nd and Poplar garden Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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‘Oh, I Mentioned the Bisque’

Tucked quietly on a corner near Fitler Square, Café Lutecia has nourished neighborhood regulars and industry insiders for more than 20 years.  Valerie Blum, the chef and co-owner, along with her husband Jon, greet visitors with welcoming smiles and offer a delicious assortment of breakfast and lunch dishes, coffee and pastries.

Take a look around on a typical Saturday afternoon at Lutecia, and you’ll notice there is one dish that has emerged as the perennial fan favorite.  Above all other dishes, Valerie’s Tomato Bisque has won the hearts and taste buds of all who order it.

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Cakes of My Youth (Part 1 of 3): Mother’s Day

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With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, skip the flowers and show some love the Southern way. Bake a cake. Growing up in the South, summer was high cake season in my family; each holiday for me is associated with a corresponding cake. From May to July, I’ll be sharing three of those cake recipes in hopes that you’ll make them part of your summer celebrations. I know what you’re thinking: it’s still spring. Well, we didn’t have that in the South. There’s winter and there’s summer.

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teaspoons & petals is coming to COOK!

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Tea lovers, rejoice! COOK is pleased to announce a trio of classes with tea writer and tea consultant, Alexis Siemons, of teaspoons & petals, beginning in August.

Alexis will cover three topics over three classes: Tea 101, Iced Tea Treats and Cooking With Tea. All three will include tea basics and then delve deeper into the topic at hand.

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Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Preview Event

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Buy tickets now to feast on fare from Rittenhouse Row‘s top restaurants and chefs at the Preview Party for the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival on May 17th at the Ritz-Carlton.

So many of COOK’s friends will be there, including: Alfa, Alma de Cuba, Audrey Claire, Barclay Prime, Butcher & Singer, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse, Continental Midtown, The Dandelion, Devon Seafood Grill, Di Bruno Bros., Devil’s Alley, El Rey, G Lounge, Le Castagne, Metropolitan Bakery, Parc, The Ranstead Room, The Raven Lounge, Tavern 17, Ten Arts, Twenty Manning Grill, The Walnut Room (with more to come!!). The event will also feature a silent auction and raffle.

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