Audrey Taichman (Audrey Claire, Twenty Manning Grill) is taking over the corner spot up the block at 20th and Rittenhouse Square that previously housed Salt and Snackbar.
But she's planning something far more exciting and potentially far more substantial than another restaurant.
Cook will be a collaborative kitchen. Modeled on Stir in Boston, it will allow guest chefs (famous and not so famous) to prepare meals and host demonstrations for no more than 16 people.
Taichman expects to have the tricked-out kitchen -- wired for video -- up and running by June.
"It's not so much about making money," says Taichman, who considers Cook a way to "celebrate the culinary arts."
Besides the meals and demos and kids' cooking classes on weekends, Cook can be rented out for such shindigs as engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, wine dinners (the liquor license remains), and corporate events. Customers can provide their own chefs, or Taichman can draw upon her stable.
"Let's say some young chef is looking for investors," Taichman told me. "He can rent out the place and cook" for prospects.
Cook will sell books, reference materials, and utensils, says Taichman, who seems to be coming up with new ideas weekly for the project. Philadelphia Magazine has agreed to become presenting sponsor and will promote events.
She says the idea grew out of Feastival, last fall's successful fund-raising event for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. "It was so much fun to watch the chefs working together," says Taichman, who's been in the biz for 15 years and has some of the top names in town poised to do one-nighters at Cook.
Sort of like a permanent pop-up.