Local restaurants compete at the Souper Bowl: Proceeds to be donated to Twin Pines Consumers Food Pantry



Community members gather to sample a variety of soups from local restaurants at the Souper Bowl on Feb. 4.

Jackeline Fernandes, Staff Writer

The Super Bowl, the most viewed televised event in the nation each year, is highly anticipated.  However, an event right in town has certain restaurants anxiously waiting as well, since they will be competing against each other to stir up the best soup in town.

On Feb. 4, residents in the area were invited to escape the cold winter weather and attend the 10th  annual Souper Bowl, where they will be able to taste a variety of warm soups made by Long Island restaurants and vote for the best soup at the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Port Washington from noon to 3pm.

“It’s so cold out right now,” said senior Soobin Seo.  “I think it would be great to try different kinds of soup that would warm me up.”

Residents who attended the event had to pay a small admission fee. Adults paid a $7 “touchdown” fee and a $3 “field goal” fee for children under the age of 12.  They received a hand stamp and a ballot in return.

Sixteen local Long Island restaurants entered the competition, and the plethora of soups provided ranged from beefy cheeseburger soup to a spicy Cajun seafood chowder.  All soups were served in two-ounce portions and served with bread and crackers.  After the soup tasters tried all the soups, they voted for their favorite soup.  All the ballots were then tallied, and the 2017 Souper Bowl Champ won a People’s Choice Award.

There was a select panel of judges, consisting of celebrities such as award-winning sports anchor Len Berman.  The panel also included various culinary experts, such as celebrity chef and newscaster Julian Phillips and Culinary Consultant Christine Sanchez.  The select Judges Panel selected their soup of choice for the Judges’ Choice Award.

“I think it’s so cool that different celebrity chefs judged the soups,” said freshman Davina Bonilla.

For the Judges’ Choice Award, O’Hara’s Potato Soup won first, Port Washington Diner’s Lemon Chicken Soup was awarded second, and Wild Honey’s Seafood Gumbo came in third. For the People’s Choice Award, O’Hara’s Potato Soup also took first, The Wild Goose’s Cauliflower Soup came in second, and F. I. S. H. On Main’s Cajun Seafood Chowder was awarded third.

The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce and its executive director, Bobbie Polay, ran the Souper Bowl.  They collected a portion of the proceeds and non-perishable food to be donated to a local food pantry.

“The Souper Bowl does something really good, and it benefits both sides because people get soup, and people who don’t have the ability to get food as we do get food from the food donations and money,” said freshman Derrick Weisburd.

Another reason why people enjoy this soup-tasting event is because they get to try different types of soup that they’ve never tasted before.

“It’s good to try new things, and soup is one of them,” said freshman Stephanie Kapsalis.

The soup-tasters benefit greatly from trying different kinds of soup from different local restaurants because they discover new places to dine.

“The Souper Bowl endorses small businesses,” said freshman Abigail Masri. “It makes people aware of different restaurants and what kind of soups they like.”

Just like the Super Bowl, the Souper Bowl is a form of good competition, but between restaurants, which is why some may find it enjoyable.

“In the actual Super Bowl, football players compete to win,” said Kapsalis.  “But in the Souper Bowl, people compete for cooking the best soup.  It’s just entertaining to see how it plays out.”