By now, you know the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. But what about SOUPer Bowl VIII, the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce’s annual fundraiser/contest? For the eighth year in a row, the event has been held on the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday.
And, simply put, it was a triumph for newcomer O’Hara’s Ale House. The Port Washington restaurant, which recently garnered two-and-a-half stars for chef Jonathan Chevlin’s updated pub classics, captured both the judges' and people’s choice awards with its “loaded” baked potato soup.
Chevlin said it took him 48 hours to make the soup. He began by steeping thyme, rosemary and black pepper in cream and milk. In a 14-hour overnight process, he oven-braised hickory-smoked turkey with onions, more thyme, Scotch whisky and chicken stock. The next day — a day that ended at 3:30 a.m. for him — included multiple steps, including the addition of potatoes, a long simmering, a turn in the blender and the straining of the final product. Before presenting the soup, he garnished it with Vermont cheddar, scallions and the pulled turkey.
Chevlin said the soup is currently offered as an occasional special at the restaurant but may soon be a menu staple.
Runners-up in the contest for judges' choice award included Port Washington Yacht Club for its New England lobster and clam chowder, Ayhan’s Mediterranean Market for its turkey chili soup and Ayhan’s Fish Kebab for its Mediterranean clam chowder. People’s choice runners-up: Port Thai Place for its coconut milk soup, Finn MacCool’s for its butternut squash soup and Sullivan’s Quay for its chicken, potato and curry soup.
The judges' panel included sports anchor Len Berman, news anchor Julian Phillips and Bobby Flay’s sous chef, Christina Sanchez.