Shake Shack outpost. No, he was in town (along with Union Square Cafe chef Carmen Quagliata) to host a dinner at Cook. The petite kitchen/classroom combo has been immensely successful since Audrey Taichman (Twenty Manning Grill, Audrey Claire) launched the venue last year, hosting special 16-seat exhibition dinners with top toques from Philly and beyond. However, Cook is more than just a place for dinner parties - during the day it’s a drop-in kitchen boutique, selling bespoke ingredients, gadgets, cookbooks and country-style crockery.
It only takes a quick peek inside the corner space, just off Rittenhouse Square on 20th Street, to appreciate the good taste of the team Taichman has assembled to run the shop. The dream kitchen has a pantry stocked with attractive and useful tools, such as eco-friendly bamboo spatulas, and too-cute-for-words salt and pepper shakers. One wall is entirely dedicated to cookbooks - an array of colorful tomes that range from the gargantuan Modernist Cuisine to titles from local home cooks.
The Cook-branded spice mixes and rubs are so good-looking, you’ll want to stack them on your own counter instead of hide them in the cupboard. A newly expanded section - thanks to director of operations Michelle Flisek - offers an array of locally made eats: Jersey Gina’s Gems pickles, Green Aisle Grocery autumn preserves, Wyebrook Farm meats. Don't miss the Side Project Jerky, which comes in flavors dubbed Southwestern and Mongolian along with original. Cook's boutique is open noon-5 PM, Tuesday-Sunday, and all are invited to stop in and browse.
253 S. 20th St.; 215-735-2665