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June 2013

Ball On The Square

ballonthesquare

If you had a chance to walk around Rittenhouse Square at any time last week, you probably noticed a giant white tent in the middle of it. Your first thought was probably “Wow! I wonder what that tent is for.” And your second thought was probably, “Wait! Why cant I walk through the park!?!?” Well, the answer to both these questions is the annual Ball On The Square.

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Bonkers for Bongo

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Have you ever tried to brew your own beer at home? Well, I’ve dabbled in home brewing a few times in the past, and what I’ve definitely learned from the experience is that it is not an easy craft to perfect! It takes more then a few attempts before you are able to control the beer that comes out in the end. And in my case it ended with beer or what ever smelled like beer, all over my ceiling…

Recently at COOK, I meet Dan Berlin, a local home brewer who literally brews out of his home kitchen. Dan’s “Bongo Zeptobrewery” beers were showcased in a few beer pairing dinners with Carmen Cappello of the Moshulu.

Dan has been making beer in his home kitchen for more than four years. He makes everything, from Kolsch to Stout, and brews by a seasonal rotation. Although you still can’t buy his beer at the local stores, they are definitely something worth waiting for or you might be lucky enough to score a seat at his next COOK class.

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A Filipino Fiesta: The Remix

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They say that if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. This past March, COOK hosted a Filipino Feast with Chef Lou Boquila of Audrey Claire, who was joined by local food writer Drew Lazor. Also in attendance were Jillian Encarnacion and Resa Mueller of Twenty Manning Grill (and of Filipino heritage), who created the evening’s cocktails. And in case you were wondering, no, there were no Filipiña Coladas…

The evening was a sold-out success so in the why-mess-with-a-good-thing spirit, we invited the gang back for a Filipino Fiesta Redux, which occurred last night. A bonus of the evening: Lou and Jillian both provided our guests with the evening’s recipes. So rather than provide you with a blow-by-blow recap of the evening, we’re sharing the recipes with you. With that, bon appétit to your inner Filipino!

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July classes that rock!

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COOK’s July class schedule features one of the most interesting line-up of classes that we have ever offered. Here are a few of the diverse demos we have going on next month that are not-to-be-missed:

Wed 7/3, 7pm: Regional Southern BBQ Styles with Justin Swain of REX 1516

There is a reason everyone in the south eats BBQ: because it’s delicious. But it’s by no means the same from state to state. Each Southern locale has its own particular variety of barbecue, particularly concerning the sauce. North Carolina sauces vary by region; eastern North Carolina uses a vinegar-based sauce, the center of the state enjoys something called “Lexington-style” barbecue, which uses a combination of ketchup and vinegar as their base, and western North Carolina uses a heavier ketchup base. South Carolina is the only state that includes all four recognized barbecue sauces, including mustard-based, vinegar-based, and light and heavy tomato-based. Memphis barbecue is best known for tomato- and vinegar-based sauces. And that’s just the tip of the barbecue iceberg!

Next month, Chef Justin Swain of South Street’s southern food mecca, Rex 1516, will take guests on a journey through the various regions and styles of southern BBQ. Any and every BBQ enthusiast in Philly needs to be at this finger-lickin’ good class!

 

Sat 7/13, 7pm: Modern Hawaiian Fare with Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca of Poi Dog Snack Shop 

If you know Philly’s booming street food scene, then you, no doubt, know about Poi Dog. The Vendy Award-nominated food truck is the brainchild of former Classics instructors, Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca, who have brought Hawaiian cuisine to the streets of Philadelphia with gusto. And this is not your average food cart! The pair offers some of the most delicious and underrated fare around and it’s one of the most exciting recent additions to Philly’s food scene in general.

Poi Dog offers a menu of classic island fare with a contemporary spin. At COOK, they will be demo’ing: ahi poke, Saimin with pork belly adobo, Kalua pork plate with lomi lomi salmon and banana lumpia with chocolate haupia dipping sauce. You may not know what half of those things are now but if you come to this class you will be very glad you did!

 

Wed 7/17, 7pm: A Global Hot Dog Adventure with Keith Garabedian of Hot Diggity 

Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant critic, Craig LaBan, called the hot dogs at Hot Diggity “superior” while Food Network personality (and former host of “Double Dare”) Marc Summers proclaimed the Hot Diggity wieners “the best hot dogs” he has ever had! And they should know.  Hot Diggity has made it their mission to bring hot dogs back to the City of Brotherly Love. The city and hot dogs have a rich history together, but the rise of other local favorites has pushed the humble hot dog to the back burner. No more, says Chef-Owner Keith Garabedian!

If you think of Oscar Meyer when you hear the words “hot dog”, think again. At COOK, Keith will give guests a taste of hot dogs and hot dog styles from around the globe. This is a hot dog lover’s dream and the perfect place to learn how to spice up your own hot dog game this summer.

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Open Stove XIV: Winner’s Circle

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COOK’s Open Stove prides itself on being a stage for Philly’s as-yet-untested kitchen talent, but once in awhile the crew likes to throw some proven winners into the mix to see what the heck’s going to happen. They’ve achieved this in the past by pitting executive chefs against each other in an unpredictable battle usually reserved for sous chefs and line cooks. For the 14th installment in the series, however, COOK tapped two reigning Open Stove champions — Zahav‘s Yehuda Sichel (above, left) and Sola BYOB‘s Steve Stryjewski — to see who’d get the better of their fellow victor.

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COOK MASTERS PROGRAM: Butchery with Chef Andrew Wood of Russet

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This little piggy went to COOK… and so did a bunch of his chicken friends.

Yesterday, Andrew Wood, Chef-Owner of Center City’s Russet, brought his butchery A-game to COOK for a Masters Program tutorial in butchery.

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Dads Are Rad: Father’s Day Shopping at COOK

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Father’s Day is one week away. Don’t have a gift yet? Have no fear, COOK is open every day from noon to 5 p.m. for all your shopping needs. Don’t give dad another lame tie — check after the jump for our top five favorite gift suggestions for dad!

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FAQ: How do I get into COOK?

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One of the most common questions we get here at COOK is, “How do I get into a class?” The question is often followed by, “It seems like you’re always sold out!” While there are always SOME seats available to select classes, getting into the class of your (first) choice does indeed require some planning. So with July’s schedule coming out tomorrow at 2pm, we’d like to take the opportunity to offer some class registration tips.

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