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Monthly Archives:

January 2014

COOK Masters Program Guest Blogger: Nancy Lowell

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The COOK Masters Program is a free, instructional cooking series taught by some of the city’s and country’s biggest culinary names, for students who are truly passionate about pursuing a professional career in the restaurant industry.

The third semester of the COOK Masters Program began earlier this month. COOK has once again secured an impressive roster of professional chefs as instructors. Upcoming and past instructors include Michael Solomonov (Zahav, Percy Street Barbecue, Federal Donuts), Jean-Marie Lacroix (Lacroix, Brûlée Catering), Pierre Calmels (Bibou), Nick Elmi (Laurel), Jon Cichon (Lacroix), Georges Perrier, Peter Woolsey (Bistrot La Minette), James Barrett (Metropolitan Bakery), Brian Freedman (Drink Me Magazine), Aimee Olexy (Talula’s Table, Talula’s Garden, Talula’s Daily), Joe Cicala (Le Virtu), Jason Cichonski (Ela), Katie Cavuto (Healthy Bites) David Katz (Creekstone Farms) and many more.

And this semester, we’ve made a change. While, in the past, the program has been open only to cooks, this time we’re held a couple of spots open for food writers–and already held a special class taught by Rick Nichols and Drew Lazor which focused completely on the business of writing about dinner rather than cooking it.

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Seats Still Available for February Classes

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First things first…Our March classes will go on sale Wednesday, February 5 at 2pm, so mark your calendars and be on the lookout for a preview of the schedule on Foobooz.

In the meantime, we have some open seats for select February classes. Below are the details and direct links to purchase seats.

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Philly’s Puentes de Salud Featured In The New York Times

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The team at COOK was incredibly excited to see this excellent feature about Philadelphia’s Puentes de Salud in the January 20 edition of The New York TimesSupported by the Philly chef community, Dr. Steve Larson‘s non-profit organization provides high-quality medical care to our city’s undocumented and uninsured Latino immigrants, many of whom work within the restaurant industry.

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Fare for the Philippines: A Recap

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Since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, Team COOK has collaborated with our sister restaurants Twenty Manning Grill and Audrey Claire on several fundraising efforts. With the final scheduled event now behind us, we wanted to look back and determine just how many dollars had been raised. But before we give you the figures, we want to thank all of those who donated for their generosity. All funds raised have been given to Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement. If you would like to donate online, click here.

Below is a list of efforts and events that occurred at COOK and Twenty Manning Grill, along with a total of funds raised.

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An Afternoon with Ferran Adria

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Philadelphia has its share of celebrity chefs, from Jose Garces and Marc Vetri to Jen Carroll and Morimoto. They all deserve a ton of respect and they were all on my list of “chefs I would like to meet” when I came here. But I often wonder is who it is that they consider to be a “celebrity chef”? Who would have Jose Garces saying “wow! I can’t believe I just met _____”.

Well, there is one Chef that I’m sure is on every chef in Philadelphia’s list – and his name is Ferran Adria and if his name or his now closed, Spanish restaurant elBulli doesn’t ring any bells, we are talking about one of the most important figures in the culinary world today!

Recently, your reporter from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy (that’s me) had the pleasure to spend an afternoon following celebrity chef Ferran Adria during his time here at the university.

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Photo Recap: A Champagne Dinner with Olivier Desaintmartin of Caribou Café and Zinc

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While this post is primarily a photo recap of our recent Champagne Dinner with Olivier Desaintmartin of Caribou Café and Zinc, we would be remiss to not mention three things we ourselves learned from Monsieur Desaintmartin. One of those is most certainly not that Team COOK loves Champagne–it’s no secret that I, along with Michelle and Lily, love  bubbles, so no surprise there…But among the many lessons learned last Friday are the following:

1. Champagne is not a grape, but rather a blend of three grapes–Pinot Noir (which gives body), Chardonnay (which gives strength), and Pinot Meunier (which gives fruitiness).

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The COOK Book Nook: Volume 3

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Did you know that we sell cookbooks at COOK? I can proudly say that we’ve got one of the most exciting food-text collections in all of Philly. We stock hundreds of titles both contemporary and classic, covering just about every subject you can imagine: meat, fish, baking, cocktails, vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, Filipino, Israeli, French…I could go on all day. I love all our picks, but there are always a few selections I’m particularly fond of in any given week. Peek after the jump to see what I’m digging currently. And come by COOK daily between the hours of noon and 5 p.m. to browse and buy!

There’s a new kid on the culinary book block that I am quite excited about: Short Stack Editions.  What sets the small-format hand-bound series apart is that each volume is a tribute to one basic ingredient, written by one person, with fun and colorful design to accompany the witty and interesting text.  The authors involved in Short Stack, which are released in sets of three, are some of the most talented and qualified food people on the scene. For example, for the first edition, they got award-winning writer and TV host Ian Knauer, a Pennsylvania native, to write all about eggs, a true love letter to the versatile and powerful refrigerator staple. For the second series release, Short Stack’s going Southern, highlighting buttermilk, sweet potatoes and grits.

Check out after the jump a recipe from the Buttermilk edition by author Angie Mosier.

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Say Cheese…You’re Invited to a Cave Raising!

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While Kraft is warning of an impending “cheese” shortage, fear not…On Saturday, January 18 from 7:30 to midnight, cheese lovers will unite at Ruba Hall (414 Green Street) for Cheese Ball II, hosted by Tenaya Darlington, aka Madame Fromage. In addition to a $10 admission, guests are requested to bring a cheese for inclusion in what is sure to be the planet’s largest cheese board.

This year’s proceeds will help local cheese maker Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm build a cheese aging cave. If you’re not familiar with Birchrun, Sue’s local raw-milk cheeses are sold at Di Bruno Bros, Metropolitan Bakery, Fair Food Farmstand, and Headhouse Farmers Market. So why a cave now?

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February First-Timers at COOK

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Happy New Year, COOKies!

With our February 2014 schedule posted just moments ago, I thought I’d share a few of the exciting, first-time-to-COOK instructors we have coming up next month. You can sign up for these classes – plus all the others February has to offer – by clicking here.

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Feel the Chill? A Warming Dish Solution

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Welcome to the coldest day of the year. Yes, we’re only three days into 2014, but nevertheless…

It’s days like this when we crave a simple but hearty meal. And while I love a good soup just as much as the next guy, let’s be real. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Let’s talk meat, or technically poultry.

Looking through COOK’s recipe archives, I came across the following recipe from Hope Cohen, author of “Fast Fresh + Simple.” With warm spices and falling-off-the-bone meat, we’re confident it’ll hit the spot.

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