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11 April, 2011

The Cookery Open House

Comments : 5 Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Food Trucks, Stands, and Carts, Grab and Go, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez

The Cookery Open House
1101 West Chapel Hill Street

Last Thursday, I attended the Cookery’s open house.

Lovely mural on the building

The Cookery, in case you haven’t heard of this new business, is a 24-hour, commercial kitchen space that is available for chefs, bakers, small entrepreneurs, whoever, to rent by the hour. Its owners are also working on a culinary incubator program for the fall, offering classes and mentorship to people looking to get started in the culinary business. I took a walkthrough of their facilities as soon as the doors opened up. It’s all nice and sparkly clean—hopefully, that won’t last for long! Based on the conversation I overheard of “This is exactly what we need, a prep area like that,” I’m optimistic that’s the case.

Sink area

Storage fridge

Baker’s racks and mixer

Storage shelves

The range

Because this is the Triangle, the Cookery invited a number of food trucks and a bakery stand along to get things started off right. I’ve only been to one food truck gathering before, and I have to tell you, I think it’s hilarious how into food trucks Durhamites are. The place was swamped with the hungry, even with lines lasting 30 minutes or more. There was Pie Pushers (post coming up soon),

Farmhand Foods Sausage Wagon,

Blue Sky Dining,

Berenbaum’s bakery stand (post coming up on them here and at Carpe Durham),

and Slippin’ Sliders, though their truck wasn’t open, so they may have had some mechanical problems.

Waiting in line, I overheard a number of people plotting out their strategies to get something from every truck, dividing and conquering through many people in the same group waiting in separate lines. That sort of dedication to the trucks cracks me up. But on the flip side, people passionate enough to wait 30 minutes to try a new food truck offering are also passionate enough to help out a business looking for funding, in this case the Grilled Cheese Bus. It’s a nonprofit food truck that aims to grill up sandwiches with sustainable ingredients and offer jobs to high schoolers that teach them valuable skills. Lots of people were talking about contributing to their Kickstarter drive. You should, too, if you’re chomping at the bit to try the next Durham-based mobile food idea.

Good luck to the Cookery, and I hope those knives start sharpening soon!


5 thoughts on : The Cookery Open House

  • Jennska
    April 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Slippin’ Sliders wasn’t mechanical (not the truck anyway), per their Twitter feed it was suspected appendicitis that turned out to be kidney stones. They’re back on the road.

    As a neighborhood resident (Burch Ave) I was thrilled to see so many people come to our stretch of Chapel Hill St. I hope to see more food truck rodeos happen.
    On the plus side, the brick and mortar restaurant, Food for Life, got some overflow business that evening. Hopefully this will be an example for other fixed location places to be friendly to food trucks.

  • April 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks for the 411 on Slippin’ Sliders! I definitely look forward to trying them in the future, though I admit, I’ve never understood the sliders trend. But if it means I can get a smaller burger, I’m in favor of that. I’m all about the low portion sizes these days. Glad Food for Life did well, too! It’s also on my list of must-tries.

  • April 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve been desperate to check out more trucks but there are so little opportunities in Raleigh. 🙁 Great post!

  • April 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Thank you for the great write-up, and for coming out to the open house! We had a great time, and are happy to announce that The Cookery is now accepting applications! Food entrepreneurs interested in getting involved can get started by visiting http://www.durhamcookery.com to fill out an application and schedule a tour. We look forward to working with you!

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