Images courtesy of Pamela Palma Photography
“I want to live here!” was the most squealed phrase at the Herbivoracious cookbook event for Michael Natkin at the aptly named Cookhouse venue. The crowd settled into a light filled room and many appeared comfy and happy with their meal and setting.
Cookhouse is a gorgeous North Beach nest that opened in February 2011. You can call it an event space, which it is. But such dry words hide the fact that Cookhouse is a sophisticated and vibrant spot that makes people wistfully cry out that version of “I could move here!” according to Director of Operations Amy Bryan. Climbing the stairs, one gets a decidedly mix of Paris in San Francisco feel. No wonder Cookhouse is ground zero for "in the know" birthday and anniversary parties, corporate mixers (leave that rubber chicken at the hotel banquet hall!), or perhaps an intimate dinner with the likes of Ravi Kapur, Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski and Elizabeth Falkner before she decamped to the east coast. Prices depend on event, and more information can be found online here. San Francisco magazine is on to this celeb chef hangout and held a potluck here for a group of Best Chef Award winners last month.
Cookhouse has the kind of beautiful kitchen I love to work in: Thermador ranges and induction burners, MAC knives, Staub Dutch ovens, and a KitchenAid mixer. Neat freaks whoop over how well the cooking utensils are set up and organized, and the building dates back to 1913 and has served as a sound engineering office, bookstore and salon over the decades. It's clean, spacious and organized... the way I wish my home kitchen could always be.
Brendan Marshall of Kitchit has used Cookhouse for chef based events and said,
“Cookhouse has a nice venue with the facility to handle dinner parties of 20-30 people. For us, it’s all about connecting people with chefs. Cookhouse works for people who want a different venue.”
Cookhouse’s Bryan confirmed that, “It’s a private venue you can rent for any use and it doesn’t have to be food related. That’s why we built it. We do a lot of private events, birthdays, anniversary parties, corporate team building, and classes. We even do a little bit of food photo shoots and filming here.” Professional cooking staff is available to help with the cooking and event flow, and Cookhouse has taken pains to work with local artisans and can order foodstuffs from Bi-Rite Market.