Philly Cooks Week: The Stomach’s Salvation

on February 15, 2013

Philly Cooks Week Fine Dining

Pace yourself at the dinner table, ‘cause soon you’ll need to start training. Why? Well, if you haven’t heard, the inaugural revamp of Philly Cooks Week is upon us. It’s time to join some of the city’s top chefs on a series of tasting tours that will leave you satisfactorily stuffed, and smiling too.

Philly Cooks Week runs from February 25 – 28, 2013. It kicks off with tasting tours that allow a chance to sample charcuterie with culinary giants like Marc Vetri and Jose Garces. Visit foodie hotspots in Fishtown and Midtown Village, or East Passyunk and Washington West.

Just a small sample of the some 40 participating restaurants includes Alla Spina, Bar Ferdinand, Brauhaus Schmitz, City Tap House, Matyson, Nectar, Opa and Paesano’s.

After the tasting tours is the big event on February 28, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Join some of the city’s best chefs and bartenders under one roof at the historic Strawbridge Building (801 Market Street). It’s all presented by Philadelphia magazine, whose food editor Jason Sheehan has personally selected the food talent.

According to the event’s website: “At The Big Event, the area’s best restaurants come to you. Taste food from the most exciting eateries, sip cocktails from the craftiest bartenders, and peruse the Artisanal Alley, where the region’s most creative culinary producers will be selling their handmade goods.”

Here’s a sample of what to expect on just two tasting tours (check the website for the full list):

Monday, February 25: NORTH BROAD TOUR
5:15-7:45pm

Stop 1: Osteria. Learn the secrets of making the perfect pizza pie with Chef Jeff Michaud. Enjoy pizza and wine.

Stop 2: Route 6. Take an Oyster 101 class, learn the difference between varieties of oysters, and get shucking with the chefs. Pair the shellfish with sparkling wine.

Stop 3: Alla Spina. Taste and discuss seasonal beers and sample Alla Spina’s signature dishes with Chef Marc Vetri and Beverage Director/General Manager Steve Wildy.

Tuesday, February 26: OLD CITY TOUR
5:15-7:45 pm

Stop 1: Zahav. Tour Zahav’s not-yet-open dining room addition. Make and eat kebobs with Chef Michael Solomonov. Drink Zahav’s beloved Lemonnana cocktail.

Stop 2: Fork. Chef Eli Kulp will demo and serve his duck feast at the chef’s table, with a perfectly paired wine selected by owner Ellen Yin.

Stop 3: Shane’s Confectionery. Head to Shane’s after hours and help Head Confectioner Davina Soondrum make candies, like Irish Potatoes, mint butter creams and Guinness ganache truffles, and sip on mulled apple cider.

A number of the tasting tours have already sold out, but tickets remain for The Big Event. The special night works out to $85 per person or $75 per person when purchasing 10 or more tickets. That may seem steep, but it’s actually a great deal when considering how many different restaurants you get to sample — something that get easily surpass $1,000 to do individually. Not to mention, proceeds from the Big Event benefit the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, a facility that provides nearby housing for families who have children in hospital care.