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September 2012

10 YEARS, 10 CHEFS, 1 LACROIX

 

I would like to start with congratulating Lacroix at the Rittenhouse for an amazing 10 years. To commemorate their tenth anniversary, Lacroix hosted an elaborate celebration dinner, benefiting the Lacroix scholarship through the James Beard Foundation and honoring Jean-Marie Lacroix for his contribution to Philadelphia’s (and the nation’s) culinary scene.

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Swedish Smörgåsbord: Return of the Hammer

Henrik “The Hammer” Ringbom returns to COOK’s stoves after a recent visit back home to his native Sweden.  We can only assume as the victor of COOK’s Open Stove 4 he received the hero’s welcome in his homeland.  You know typical hero stuff: keys to the city of Stockholm, talk show appearances, etc.  Henrik, his wife, and adorable 1 year old daughter Juniper visited family and friends in Sweden.  While he enjoyed some Rest & Relaxation, he was also there to be inspired by the authentic Swedish cuisine for his class at COOK last Thursday, September 20, 2012.

You are now entering the ABBA-Free zone.  Please leave what you know about Swedish cuisine and the meatballs behind.  Also the Swedish Chef isn’t from Sweden, so stop asking.

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SPTR’s Scott Schroeder goes Polish at COOK

“If you were hoping for real authentic Polish, you’re screwed.” That was one of the first things out of the mouth of the always-outspoken Scott Schroeder (right), chef of South Philly Tap Room and American Sardine Bar, at the outset of his class centered on the famously hearty Eastern European cuisine. That’s not to say the Detroit native, who was joined in the Pole-position festivities by chef Mark Regan (left) of SPTR, has no experience whatsoever with borscht and bigos. Back home in The D, Schroeder grew up visiting the traditional Polish neighborhood of Hamtramck, frequenting its many butcher shops, grocery stores and restaurants and soaking in all those feel-good babcia-crafted vibes. Nowadays, Schroeder, whose surname is far too vowel-heavy to pass for Polish, deals in thoughtful bar food, but that hasn’t squelched his interest in this kind of cooking.

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The 2012 Audi FEASTIVAL in pictures

The COOK crew is still catching its collective breath a full 48 hours after the curtain dropped on this year’s Audi FEASTIVAL. The crown jewel of the city’s culinary event calendar, FEASTIVAL, now in its third year, raised a tremendous amount of support for the city’s Live Arts and Philly Fringe, a mission represented by the multiple arts patrons in the crowd of 950-plus and the talented performers who transformed Delaware Avenue’s Pier 9 into an absolute funhouse. Audrey Claire Taichman, who curates the event with Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov, recently revealed that 2010’s inaugural FEASTIVAL was the inspiration for COOK itself. It’s not difficult to see why, considering the support, respect and camaraderie displayed by this year’s attendees.

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A Post from the Pier: Prepping the 2012 Audi FEASTIVAL

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For quite some time, you’ve been hearing us talk about the planning of the 2012 Audi FEASTIVAL. Well, tomorrow is the big day. Team COOK has been busy at Pier 9, assisting in the setup, and we’re giving you a sneak peek with some behind-the-scenes photos shot by our own Yoni Nimrod. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, there’s a handful left, but hurry before they’re gone!

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Open Stove VI: City of brotherly shoves

Open Stove just keeps getting stranger. So far I’ve attended a total of three of COOK’s monthly chef-on-chef extravaganzas; July’s pitted Germany against France, while August’s pitted Spam against Spam. For September, things got very personal —brother vs. brother personal. Waldermar “Val” Stryjewski (left), sous chef at a.kitchen, did battle with his younger sibling of 10 years, Stephan “Steve” Stryjewski (right), sous chef at the Hotel Palomar’s Square 1682. I first got to know these two back in 2010, when we all accompanied COOK regular Peter Woolsey on a trip up to NYC’s James Beard House. Besides possessing a shared gift for indefatigable smack-talk, the Stryjewskis are both sure-handed as hell in the kitchen. But if Open Stove, built around a series of “secret ingredients” selected by the COOK staff, is good for anything, it’s ensuring any modicum of culinary comfort disappears faster than a dozen Federal Donuts at an over-attended brunch potluck.

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Audrey Claire Taichman reflects on Year One

Today, September 6, marks the one-year anniversary of COOK opening in Philadelphia. We recently sat down with Audrey Claire Taichman, who owns and operates the space along with her restaurants Audrey Claire and Twenty Manning Grill, to get her thoughts on her unique collaborative kitchen’s introduction into the local food scene, the relationships she’s formed with chefs and guests alike and her exciting plans for COOK’s future.

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