Omi's Kitchen has winning streak at soup competition


Published: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 11:06 p.m.

The soup kitchen is closed.

St. Francis Catholic High School held its 2nd annual "Souper" Fun Sunday soup competition on Sunday.

"This year more than 450 or so guests came to the event. Last year, the attendance was around 400," said Sherry Houston, the acting chair for the event committee. "We were very pleased to see new faces from around the community."

The competition categories this year were "Most Popular People's Choice," "Best Decorative Table," "Best Slurpability," "Most Aromatic," "Most Creative" and "Judges Choice."

Attendees of the competition voted on "People's Choice" and "Best Decorative Table." The judge's votes counted towards the remaining four categories.

This year the winner of "Judge's Choice "and "People's Choice" went to Omi Risco of Omi's Kitchen for her Lobster Bisque. Risco was a repeat winner of the "People's Choice;" last year she took home the title for her Cheesy Vegetable soup.

Risco said business has been brisk since her winning last year and the publicity for this year's competition.

The "Best Slurpability" title went to St. Francis chef Marty Slevin for his Chicken Sausage Gumbo.

The "Most Creative" award went to The Swamp Restaurant for it's Southern Chicken and Dumpling soup. It was served with a Crostini with Romaine Egg Salad.

"I think winning one of the titles in this competition will show the community that we do compete with other restaurants in the community and we do have good quality food," said Nick Smith, The Swamp's kitchen manager.

Attendee Kathleen Knezevich said The Swamp Restaurant and It's All Good Catering had her favorite soups, and she came back for seconds.

It's All Good Catering is owned and operated by three teachers from St. Patrick's Catholic School. This year was the teachers' first time in the competition, where they entered their Sausage Corn Chowder.

Joe's Place won the "Judge's Choice" in the 2008 competition, and this year the restaurant left with the title of "Best Aromatic." Joe's winning soup was the Chicken Enchilada, the same soup that the restaurant entered last year.

A new face at the competition this year was Harry's Seafood. Going home without a title didn't seem to bother chef Mike Guard.

"We had a lot of fun, and gained a great experience. We are definitely doing this next year," Guard said.

Last year and this year's proceeds went to the SFCHS's technology enhancement funds, said Taren Triggs, the publicity chairman for the soup committee. "Service is a big part of the school, which leads to a lot of the students, parents and grandparents volunteering at this event," she said.

Triggs also stressed that she hopes the competition will expand in the future so the school can give some of the proceeds to other community charities.

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