Making it to the end zone at the upcoming Port Washington Souper Bowl competition will have more to do with broth and flavor than brawn and finesse.
Now in its 10th year, the event features soups donated by local restaurants and takes place on the eve of the Super Bowl.
“It is a cold, dreary time of year,” says Bobbie Polay, executive director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. “Our Souper Bowl is a greatly anticipated and fun way to break up the winter blahs.”
Souper Bowl typically attracts more than 500 people.
Last year, 17 restaurants participated. Polay expects the same number on Saturday, Feb. 4.
AT THE EVENT
Admission includes a ballot and 2-ounce sample of each soup. Guests are asked to pick three favorites. The soup with the most votes is crowned the 2017 Souper Bowl champ. A separate panel of culinary experts gives out the judges’ choice award.
The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce will also be collecting nonperishable food to be donated to Our Lady of Fatima Social Ministry, which runs an outreach program for those in need.
This year’s entries range from the traditional — hearty chicken noodle and Italian wedding soup — to the inventive, such as Cajun seafood chowder and cheeseburger soup. There’ll also be cauliflower, chicken lemon rice, Turkish red lentil and turkey chili soups on the ballot.
Making their debut in the competition are Bleu Bird Café and The Wild Goose restaurants.
The 2017 judges include Emmy Award-winning sports anchor Len Berman, celebrity chef and newscaster Julian Phillips, chef and culinary consultant Christine Sanchez and Chamber members Anne Arter and Joseph Canigiani.
The judges arrive before the event opens to the public and rate the soups on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding). They judge each entry for its taste, texture, aroma, color, spiciness, salt level and overall flavor without knowing its origin. The restaurant names and their soups are revealed at noon, when the event opens to the public.
The restaurants also contribute bread and crackers for the tasters to round out a satisfying lunch.
Although the event is largely billed as a fundraiser, it also helps bring new business to the area, Polay says.
“People love the opportunity to sample soups from so many restaurants and discuss them with others there,” Polay says. “Many patronize the restaurants in the following weeks and request the soups that they loved from the contest.”
WHEN | WHERE Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, 100 Fairway Dr., Port Washington
ADMISSION $7 ($3 ages 10 and younger)
LAST YEAR’S WINNERS
Souper Bowl champ
Fish on Main’s Louisiana crawfish crab corn chowder
Wild Honey’s Jamaican sweet potato soup
O’Hara’s Ale House & Grill’s beef barley soup
Ayhan’s Shish Kebab’s Turkish red lentil soup
Yummy Gyro’s chicken lemon rice soup
Third place (tie)
Port Thai Place’s Thai chicken soup and Port Washington Diner’s lemon chicken soup