CCHH People’s Choice Awards for Best Soup
NORWICH – Chenango County Habitat for Humanity’s first soup tasting event, CCHH Souper Bowl was a terrific success! People came in droves to support this very deserving non-profit organization. They sipped soup, ate bread, had coffee from Java Joe's an More and dessert, took notes and voted. No, they weren’t voting for a governmental election, but for their favorite soup from the participating restaurants (mostly) from Chenango County. With three tickets, they determined first, second and third places.
It was a great opportunity for food purveyors to give a taste of what they have to offer, in their special style of cuisine! They were encouraged to distribute coupons, business cards, catering information or even menus for their establishments. Several provided bread, rolls, crackers or croutons to go with their soups.
Participating restaurants were Bob's Diner, Bainbridge; Caboose Restaurant, Norwich; Canasawacta Country Club, Norwich; Carmen’s Café, Norwich; Deer Path Restaurant, Edmeston; Dusty’s Dairy Barn & Grill, Norwich; Gus’ Steak House, Norwich; Hoppie's, Oxford; Karolyn’s Krossroads Café, Norwich; Lewis’ Restaurant, Sherburne; Lucky Kitchen, Norwich; Main Street Bakery & Grill, Afton; Mary’s On The Corner, Norwich; New Berlin Diner, New Berlin; New York Pizzeria, New Berlin; Nina's Pizzeria, Norwich; S & S Café, Bainbridge; Suzi's Café, Sidney; The Silo Restaurant, Coventry; and the Village Café, Greene. (Due to CCHH some mishaps, soups from Garf’s Deli, Norwich; and Serendipity Café, Norwich; were not available.)
At the end of the two hour event, the voting tickets were counted. Many were very close, but first place had a clear margin! Winning the bronze award with 30 votes was Dusty’s Dairy Barn & Grill with their S.W. Chicken Chowder. Winning the silver award with 34 votes was Mary’s On The Corner with their Baked Potato Soup with bacon and cheddar cheese toppings. Winning the golden award with 63 votes was S&S Café with their spicy Sausage Toscana Soup.
Other soups receiving high votes were the Caboose’s Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (29), Nina's Deluxe Seafood Chowder (27), Gus’ Lobster Bisque (25), the Deer Path’s 3-Cheese Cherry Pepper Soup (24), and Karolyn’s Seafood Chowder (22). All in all, however, every single soup was a winner due to the fact they all were sipped, tasted, and finished off before the end of the night!!
Breads received praise too. Baguettes from La Maison Blanche, Garlic bread from Suzi’s Bakeshop and Café in Sidney, bread baked by Judge “Howie” Sullivan, and an herbed loaf from Garf’s Deli all received accolades.
Approximately 160 people attended and the event raised just over $1800. Some of the public comments were, “Excellent soups!” “Best fund raiser ever.” “All of it was wonderful.” “Very different, I enjoyed it; it was a chance to sample different soups.” and “They were delicious – it was hard to choose!”
CCHH’s very unique, best tasting soup ladle awards were created by the highly recognized artist, Elena Marin. An Oxford resident, Elena is originally from Romania. She is most renowned for her original appliqué wall compositions that have been sold across the country. They’re embroidered and embellished with crystals, beads, and sequins. The glittering accents are her signature. Most recently, Elena has created a line of serving tableware bedecked with “jewels.” These jazzy utensils are at The Blue Lamp in Oxford where Audrey Johnson of Habitat saw them and contacted Marin about making the awards.
Elena painted and embellished the ladles with gold, silver and bronze. They were given whimsical strongmen figurines wielding tools, screws, nails and cogs to represent the labor and machinery that makes up house construction done by Habitat for Humanity’s volunteers. Gems and beads added the glitter and the results were truly unique works of art. They were attached to cherry mounts, locally harvested and milled by master craftsman, John Knapp, of Knapp Knoll Woodworks of Oxford.
CCHH congratulates the soup winners and thanks all the restaurants for donating their soup. Also Habitat invites all to the groundbreaking ceremony for their fifth and next house in West Bainbridge on Saturday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. It’s being constructed with partnering family, Lorraine Cornish, and her two sons.
Habitat for Humanity offers “a hand up, not a handout”. Thinking of volunteering? Your time, talents and resources are strongly needed. Contact Marjory Clark at (607) 764-8341; email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please put "Habitat" on the subject line.