Five judges worked through the machinations of smelling, admiring and tasting more than a dozen soups during Soupabration on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Camp Ocean Pines. They deemed a fire-roasted tomato basil soup created by Chef Miguel de Alba of Manta Rey in San Simeon as best of show. But as far as the event’s attendees were concerned, the people’s favorite vote went to a Thai curried cauliflower soup by Chef Gary Baker of Divine Street Catering in Cayucos.
Ten Central Coast chefs brought their creative concoctions to help benefit Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay. The best seasonal soup was a tomatillo corn by Chef Matt Beckett of Linn’s; the best chowder award plaque was handed to Chef Richard Lawson of Camp Ocean Pines; and Baker’s Thai curried cauliflower soup also took The Cambrian Editor’s Award for best vegan or vegetarian soup.
Judging the soups were Chef Dakota Weiss, executive chef W, Los Angeles; Chef Rahm Fama, executive chef of US Foods; Dave Congalton, KVEC radio host; Bert Etling, The Cambrian editor; and Consuelo Macedo, food columnist for The Cambrian.
Chef Weiss, who has judged Soupabration entries since its first year in 2011 said, “This year every chef stepped outside of the bowl to bring some of the most creative soups. It was really tough to pick the best soups this year—they were all delicious and near perfection.”
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Other participating chefs and restaurants included Apple Farm Restaurant, Bay View Restaurant, Indigo Moon Café, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill, Robin’s Restaurant and Shine Café.
The Pacific Coast Trail Wineries poured tastings, as did Bassetti Vineyards and Sculpterra Winery. Offering gourmet food samplings were Bassetti Vineyards, Brian’s Bread, Dakota’s Pop Parlor, Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates, Red Moose Cookie Company and We Olive.
A 501 c-3 non-profit, Pacific Wildlife Care rehabilitates and returns injured wildlife to their natural habitat and educates the community to value and respect wildlife and the our shared environment.