Chef Chris Garvey (left) faced off against one of his former students, Chef Alexa Warner (centre), in the first round of the 2018 Soupateria Super Bowl. They were assisted by student volunteers Ki Peterson, right, and Lanae Arcand, not pictured. Photo courtesy Wayne McDougall

Chefs square off at the Soupateria

What’s better than hot soup on cold day?

Some of the Soupateria’s lunches for those in need are going to have a little something extra as the Souperbowl Chef contest returns.

Related: Souper Sunday raises Soupateria profile

The competition began last week with Chef Chris Garvey, Penticton Secondary’s Culinary Arts instructor, squaring off against one of his former students, Chef Alexa Warner of Brodo Kitchen, who is the reigning champion.

“She was his student for four years in the cooking class. When it came down to it, it was a tie vote,” said Wayne McDougall, Soupateria volunteer. “So they flipped a coin and Chris Garvey was declared winner of round one.”

Each week, the competing chefs are assisted by students from the Pen High culinary arts program, making the competition a learning opportunity as well.

“For those that need the Soupateria, it’s a bit of an extra treat,” said McDougall. “The chefs sign up to be contestants because they like to give back to the community and the students work with the chefs.”

To make his winning potato ham chowder Garvey (and the other chefs, in their turn) had to work with what’s on hand at the Soupateria. Chefs are allowed to bring in stock and one non-protein ingredient — all other ingredients have to be found at the soup kitchen.

For the Soupateria, the competition is also a way to raise awareness that the need is still there. McDougall estimates the Soupateria has about 150 diners every day.

“It doesn’t matter what their circumstances are. If someone is hungry, they come to the soup kitchen and we feed them. That is the goal,” said McDougall. “In the summertime, (we have) upwards of 200 (people). Some of the days are super busy.”

Related: Thanksgiving dinner served up at the Penticton Soupateria

The competition continues next week with Chef Donny of Bad Tattoo Brewery competing against Chef David Stern of Theo’s Restaurant. Four members of the Penticton Vees will be dropping by to be celebrity judges.

The final showdown comes the first week of November, when Garvey faces off against whoever wins this week, with the coveted Silver Soup Ladle hanging in the balance.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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