Jan 27, 2013 (Albuquerque Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Saturday was one of those gray, chilly winter mornings when a cup of warm soup warms the soul, and there were plenty of warm souls at the Roadrunner Food Bank's Souper Bowl fundraiser.
"This reminds me of my grandmother's soup when I'd walk miles through the snow to taste her soup. It'd take the chill right out of your bones," said Jean Roberts, on vacation from Lincoln City, Ore.
Roberts had just tasted the Italian chicken noodle soup from the Romano's Macaroni Grill booth at the annual event held inside the Albuquerque warehouse of Roadrunner Food Bank.
More than 50 restaurants competed in the event, which had visitors voting on a "People's Choice" winner in several food categories and a "Critic's Choice" panel also picking their favorites from the eateries.
It was evident that most participants were there for more than the competition.
"I love helping the community feed the hungry," said Saul Paniagua, executive chef at Standard Diner. "And I love seeing the expression on their faces when they first try our vegetarian or chicken soup."
This year, more than 1,200 attended the Souper Bowl, which started 20 years ago as an in-store promotion at a local mall with a few restaurants taking part, said Roadrunner President and CEO Melody Wattenbarger.
"People love soup," Wattenbarger said, explaining how the event grew into the organization's biggest fundraiser for its mission of providing food to more than 40,000 people in need a week in New Mexico.
Although proceeds from this year's event have yet to be tallied, the Souper Bowl last year brought in $70,000 for Roadrunner.
"Everyone's so dang friendly and the food is amazing," said Kiki Jones Lopez, who attended the event for the first time with her friend Colleen Grathwol, both of Albuquerque.
"Everything is so good, it's hard to vote on a best choice," Grathwol said.
The gathering, coming a week before the NFL's Super Bowl, featured not only soups, but dishes like red chile posole from Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse and sweets, such as bite-size red velvet bundt cakes with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate chip inside, at the "Nothing Bundt Cakes" booth.
___ (c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) Visit the Albuquerque
Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com Distributed by MCT Information
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]