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Monthly Archives:

March 2012

Zack Attack

Haa! Do you remember the last time you took a long stroll down the vibrant magical streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans? I can just close my eyes and reminisce about the colors, flavors and the moments of luck when a slightly drunk lady would “earn” some shiny beads.Thee last time that Zack Engel visited COOK he was behind the line helping his friend Erin O’Shea for her evening of Percy St BBQ. Post-class we exchanged our weird New Orleans stories over a couple beers.  After a few crazy stories we decided that a new Orleans Style bash had to happen,  complete with beads, oysters on the half shell, and plenty of Crystal hot sauce!
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Viva La Grilled Cheese!

For most of us, grilled cheese is synonymous with childhood — it reminds us of those cold winter days when mom would butter up thick slices of bread encasing gooey, melty cheese and serve it alongside a mug of creamy tomato soup.  Eventually we grow up and our sandwiches start getting fancier (think a roasted turkey/brie/avocado/Dijon mustard situation!). The old-school grilled cheeses we ate as kids become a thing of the past, at best an occasional diner indulgence or preemptive snack before a long evening of drinking.  Last Thursday at COOK, however, the wonderful Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table and Talula’s Garden showed all of us just how versatile and sophisticated a simple thing like grilled cheese can really be!

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Gluten-Free For All

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Gluten-free (GF) eating is something we’re hearing about so much these days, but unless you’re living this way, chances are you may not know the details.  For me, I’ve long been curious: Does a gluten-free diet mean you’re consistently looking for adequate substitutions, or do you take efforts to avoid gluten-centric foods (pasta, sandwiches, breads) altogether?  Enter talented chef Waldemar “Val” Stryjewski of Rittenhouse’s a. kitchen and his sumptuous multi-course gluten-free menu, and you’ve got a memorable evening dedicated to learning about the GF lifestyle — all while drinking good wine and eating great food!

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A Valentine’s Day To Remember Starring Top Chef’s Jen Carroll As Our Culinary Cupid

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It was COOK’s first ever Valentine’s Day class – and we wanted to do it up big. So who did we enlist as our culinary cupid? Why, the lovely and extremely talented Jennifer Carroll of Top Chef and 10 Arts fame.

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Nichols & Negronis

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I was trying to write my new blog post on Zack Engel‘s “Night in Nola” class we had last week at COOK and encountered photos from when he was here helping out his good friend Erin O’Shea for her Percy Street BBQ night.  As I flipped through the pictures I was reminded of how entertained I was! It goes without saying the food was amazing, but there was something special about that night, and that something can be summed up in two words: Rick Nichols.

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Each little clam here, know how to jam here, Under the Sea!

We all know Philadelphia is a BYOB-loving town — you can barely walk down a city block without passing one.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to bring my own wine to dinner. I sometimes wish I had one of those cool neon-colored neoprene bottle holders.  But with so many good options around here, who do you trust?  You can trust me on this one: Go to Pumpkin. In 2004, chef Ian Moroney and his wife Hillary Bor opened their small South Street restaurant with a simple goal: providing an unpretentious food and wine experience that is accessible to everyone.  For seven years, the couple kept up this approach, changing their menu daily to showcase the best products from local purveyors.  Then, last December, Chris Kearse came on as chef de cuisine and began taking Pumpkin in an exciting new direction, bringing fascinating new ingredients and techniques to the table while still honoring Ian and Hillary’s philosophy.  We knew we had to get them in here ASAP!

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The Justice League

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I want to bring up an important subject.  I want to talk to you about a very important day in the lives of Americans across the United States.  It is a day of celebration, it is a day of drinking beer and indulging in finger foods, it is a day of very expensive commercial breaks.  I’m talking about Superbowl Sunday!
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