About a week ago, I had the utmost pleasure to attend the Empty Bowls fundraiser at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, Colorado. This luncheon raises funds for the Vail Valley Salvation Army, where a fourth of the annual budget restocks food pantries and provides food assistance throughout the Valley. One hundred percent of the ticket cost for this event is donated back to the Salvation Army, since everything, from food to location, is donated. Additionally, guests get to take home a handcrafted bowl as a reminder that there is hunger in the world and the community.
The orchestrator for this event was Diana Mathias, who rhetorically asks, "What better way to fill a food pantry than with a food event?" I could not agree more! Notable restaurants from the Vail Valley contributed soups, bread and desserts to feed the plethora of attendees. The event is styled after a soup kitchen, but by no means does this lessen the culinary appeal.
The scrumptious soups included Gazpacho by Sweet Basil, Olathe Sweet Corn Chowder by Grouse Mountain Grill, Mexican Posale by Maya, Lentil and Bacon Soup by Ti Amo, Black Bean Soup by Golden Eagle, Tomato Cheddar by Sonnenalp, Fire Roasted Tomato by Vail Four Seasons, Mushroom Consommé by Splendido, Dunkel and Aged Cheddar by Talons at Redtail Camp. The perfectly balanced corn chowder was sweet and spicy. The beer cheese soup was extremely hearty with bites of bacon and whimsically adorned with popcorn. Avon Bakery, Columbine Bakery, and Heidi's Deli and Bakery provided the satisfying bread and decadent desserts.
Finally, I was provided a front-and-center table for the Ski Town Soups cookbook, in which 50% of the proceeds of the Ski Town Soups sales of the day were given back to the Vail Valley Salvation Army. All in all, the day was an absolute success, raising tens of thousands of dollars for a wonderful cause!