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December 2012

Open Stove IX: Battle of the “Bars”

I’ve had an inappropriate amount of fun covering COOK’s Open Stove series for The COOKbook in 2012. From clashes European and North American to battles between bartender bros and actual brothers, the monthly competition ranged wildly in theme and personnel, but a sense of jovialty and culinary fellowship (often in the form of dude-hugs) pervaded each installment. OS9 was no exception, bringing together two chefs from two very different kinds of bars for a competition characterized as much by goofs as good food.

Kevin Yanaga (left) mans the sushi bar at Rittenhouse’s Zama, and is well-known at COOK for his fishy stylings and expertise in knife sharpening. Mark Regan (right), too, has appeared at COOK frequently, but this Open Stove was the first opportunity for the chef de cuisine of Newbold beer bar South Philly Tap Room to lead the charge.

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A Fair Food Feast

What better venue for the first-ever Fair Food Feast than Talula’s Garden, that idylllic culinary oasis in our concrete jungle, located on Washington Square and co-owned by Fair Food Member Aimee Olexy. Aimee, a prominent figure in the local food movement in Philly, is no stranger to COOK, having taught a memorable class in March of 2012 (see the photo gallery). On December 3rd Aimee was joined by co-hosts Judy Wicks (founder of White Dog Café and Fair Food Philadelphia) and Michel Nischan (founder and President of Wholesome Wave and celebrated locavore chef) as well as a who’s-who of the locavore scene, gathered to not only raise funds for Fair Food but also to celebrate the organization’s remarkable achievements, sample local fare, and finally meet the farmers and producers, adding a human element to the farm-to-table journey of our food.

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