“The chili over cornbread is phenomenal. The next time I make chili at home, I’m putting it over cornbread, not rice,” Jane Rostov names chili as her favorite dish at the Empty Bowls event, but says she loved every dish she tried.
“I took half-cups of several soups: the Pumpkin Mulligatawney, the Thai chicken soup and the chili,” says Cookie Kerxton of Chevy Chase.
The two were among hundreds who took part in the Capital Area Food Bank’s October 17 fundraiser which brings together artists, top restaurants and long-time supporters in a warm, casual lunchtime atmosphere hosted by the FHI360 Conference Center in Dupont Circle.
For her donation, Ms. Kerxton got a handmade bowl donated by Shel’s Studio.
“I got an email about this event from Jodi Walsh, one of the artists here. I hadn’t heard about this event before! I am impressed with just how many different artists take part in this,” she says. Jodi Walsh of Gallery 555dc is a long-term partner of Empty Bowls, and creates and secures bowls for the event.
Several pottery specialists donated bowls for the event, including Baltimore Clayworks, Barbara Sloan,
Clay Café Studios, Clay Maven/Loren Scherbak Pottery & Ceramics, Eastern Market Pottery, Freestate Pottery, Hinckley Pottery, House of Artistry, Joy Bridy Pottery, Lee Arts Center, Rand & Barbara D. Rowe, Roland Park Country School, Shelley Sarrin, The Mud Hut, The Potters Guild of Baltimore and Workhouse Ceramics Program.
“Having the potters involved is a brilliant idea,” says Marion Mattingly, a board member with the Capital Area Food Bank since 1988 who hasn’t missed an Empty Bowls since it began five years ago. “It’s bigger and better than ever!” She named Tabatchnick’s black bean soup as her favorite dish.
Fourth-generation soup-maker Ben Tabatchnick , CEO of Tabatchnick Fine Foods, travelled to DC from New Jersey specifically to attend the fundraiser.
“It’s one of my favorite events. I love the Capital Area Food Bank. I love the team, the organization’s vision and the way they communicate,” he says.
Mr. Tabatchnick is a pioneer in the development of healthful foods for needy populations. In the US, his company provides high-protein soups, snacks and drinks to school systems, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
Many DC chefs made delicious soups for the event: Corner Bakery Café, Teaism, Busboys and Poets, Panera Bread, 1st and Fresh Catering, Food & Friends, Windows Catering Company, Geppetto Catering and Rustik Tavern.
The program began with a welcome from news anchor Maureen Bunyan, who represented the media sponsor for the event, ABC7. Speakers included CAFB board vice chair Barry Scher and CAFB board member Hannah Hawkins, founder and director of Children of Mine.
Honest Tea brought teas, Safeway offered beverages, and guests were raving about the delicious dessert donated by TheBestCookie.com.