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September 2011

Merci Beaucoup, Peter Woolsey of Bistrot La Minette!

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From tasting menus to Taco Bell, 16 students opened up Friday night’s class with on the spot answers to the “ultimate last meal” question. Peter Woolsey, acclaimed French Chef and owner of Bistrot La Minette, shocked the class with, “my dad’s pasta Bolognese.” Before we could even take a second sip of our Kir Royale cocktail, he jumped right into La Cuisine Francaise and gave us a quick lesson in butchering and deboning a rabbit for the entrée of Lapin Roti a la Moutarde.

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A New Take on the (Jewish) New Year

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Okay. I’m not going to lie… being Korean and from Alaska… I really know nothing about the Jewish High Holidays. So class was definitely in session, at least for me, on Thursday, September 22. Even though it was my very first Rosh Hashanah experience, after class with Chef Ali Waks of Delicatessen, I think I can safely say that even I could create a meal that my hypothetical Jewish Bubby would be proud of.

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Daniel Stern Shows his Stuff (and we are once again totally impressed!)

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I met Daniel Stern many, many years ago when he was the Executive Chef at Le Bec-Fin. His cuisine was then, as it is now, divine. He was quiet and seemed quite the opposite of what you would expect in such a position. He was gracious and reserved. I remember joining Georges at Le Bar Lyonnais (now TRYST) for champagne to ring in the New Year. The bar was packed, the vibe was crazy and in the corner was Daniel. Quiet with a little smile. When the new year struck, he kissed a pretty woman, and I think looking back, it may have been the first time he and this woman were “out in public” together. She is now his wife, Jennifer Urdang Stern. Jennifer came to adoringly watch her husband teach his mastery at COOK last week. He still is that quiet gentle guy.

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@foodsyoucaneat: An evening with Scott Schroeder of the South Philly Tap Room

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“I’m not wearing a chef coat,” said Scott Schroeder of South Philly Tap Room, “I’m a cook, not a chef.”

In defense of our “ask” which prompted that response, we were filming the event, and many of our nights so far have had a clean, classy vibe that we have worked hard to maintain. We were (thanks to Scott’s bawdy tweets) a bit nervous that the Mifflin street meat marauder might let a comment or two slip that would, let’s say, go straight to the out-take reel.

A chef coat was our key to best behavior.

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Orange Carpaccio in Prague, Oktoberfest in Munich!

Guten tag meinen freunden! I went with friends to Prague, Regensburg, and Munich this past week and found unexpected culinary adventures. Admittedly, two of our group had gone in advance and scouted the very best places, but I would happily compare our meals to the finest cuisine anywhere.

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Canning and Preserving: Tools of the Trade

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Marisa McClellan of foodinjars.com taught a canning class at COOK last Sunday.  That day, she shared 2 recipes with us (see below) and also gave us the scoop on her favorite canning tools:  a lid wand, a jar lifter and a wide-mouth funnel.  This got us over at COOK thinking that perhaps a Canning Tools-101 post could be beneficial to our COOKies.

Summer might be coming to a close but with a few weeks left of warm weather there is still time to preserve fresh vegetables and sweet fruits for colder dreary months.  Canning may seem like your grandmother’s past time but with more CSAs and farmers markets popping up in the city; a younger generation is moving towards preserving.  Cucumbers are made into pickles, berries into jams and a fall harvest of apples into sauces and butters for winter consumption.  Lucky for you preserving is easier than ever.

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Here We Dough: Shane Solomon of Pizzeria Stella

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On Monday, September 19, we had the pleasure of having Chef Shane Solomon of Pizzeria Stella in to teach a class on… what else? Pizza! One of the classes that sold out instantly, we had David Lipson, Jason Sheehan, Art Etchells and the rest of the crew from Philadelphia Magazine join us for this fun night!

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FEASTIVAL Photo Slideshow

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It’s now a week after the second annual FEASTIVAL, a benefit for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. Team FEASTIVAL has finally recuperated. Wow! What a night!!! We raised $400,000 and 800 people showed up!! It truly was the party of the year (again)!!!

Check out this photo slideshow by Suzanne Tenuto Photography who caught on film the flavors of the evening so perfectly.

These images truly capture the collaboration (we love that word here at COOK) of both the culinary excellence and live arts magnificence of Philadelphia. Our city is just that cool!!

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Introducing the COOK Questionnaire

At COOK we ask our visiting chefs to complete a questionnaire so that you and our guests can gain a little bit of insight into their world.  As luck would have it we have several questionnaires for you to enjoy on this rainy afternoon.

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Seats Remain for American Gastronomy and A Sweet Feast for the Jewish New Year

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We have two wonderful classes this week that have a few open seats left: The Secrets of American Gastronomy with Daniel Stern and A Sweet Feast For The Jewish New Year With Ali Waks of Delicatessen , which is part of our Gershman Y Series.

You may be asking yourself; What is American Gastronomy?  Well…Chef Daniel Stern has two restaurants in Philadelphia: MidAtlantic and R2L, that focus on American cuisine.   MidAtlantic‘s menu includes crab scrapple, fried green tomatoes, and mushroom meatloaf, and menu items from R2L include roasted and poached lobster, roasted rabbit, and 14 oz rib chop.  Chef Stern will be sharing his extensive experience in creating all american dishes using ingredients that are original to this continent.  Lucky for us we live in an area that produces a bounty of produce, meat, and cheeses to satisfy Chef Stern’s creative impulses.  Thank you Chef Stern for teaching tonight!

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