For months, I’ve been looking for a class on making pizza because I want to learn how to roll out dough. It’s a skill I just can’t get on my own. Yesterday, I finally found one, and it’s sold out. The class will be held at the brand-spanking new Cook in Philadelphia, a 16-seat classroom where local chefs and food experts will teach students with classes, demonstrations and conversation.

Run by Philadelphia restaurateur Audrey Claire Taichman, Cook is a “state-of-the-art, fully-equipped, 16-seat kitchen-classroom to discover, prepare and enjoy meals made from local and seasonal ingredients.”

Yesterday, tickets for the intimate classes went on sale at 4 p.m. The classes had been kept a relative secret. A few hours before they went on sale, there was a sneak peek at a few of the titles, and when I saw a pizza class, I was interested. But at 4 p.m. yesterday, I was dropping my son off at a drama workshop and wasn’t able to hop on my computer until 4:23. The pizza class, along with a few other events, was already sold out.

Not all of the classes have sold out yet, and there are still plenty of events ranging from $45 to $125 with openings. Bread making, canning (taught by Food in Jars' Marisa McClennan, my inspiration to participate in National Can-It-Forward Day), farm-to-table suppers, and cuisine specific classes such as French, Vietnamese, and American are just a few of the September offerings at Cook.

Philadelphia has an amazing food culture, and the local food movement has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. Farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, community gardens, and the efforts of Philly Homegrown have made the city a fabulous place to eat. Cook seems to be taking the local food movement one step further by creating a space where those involved in the movement can meet, learn, share meals and converse.

In addition to the classroom space, Cook has a bookstore, pantry and cookware boutique. I’m looking forward to checking out Cook, perhaps in October if another pizza class is offered and I can hop on my computer quickly enough. Or maybe I’ll sign up for the dinner that pairs gin-based cocktails with food in September. That sounds good, too. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Philadelphia's Cook: A collaborative kitchen
It's all about local — foods and chefs, that is — at a new cooking classroom opening in Philadelphia this September.