Annual soup showcase returns to help fight hunger in Sacramento

Photo by Alexis Kahn

Soup's on for a good cause at the 12th annual Empty Bowls event that will warm up the Sacramento Convention Center on March 9 and 10.

The two-day fundraiser, benefiting and hosted by the River City Food Bank, invites guests to try soup from local restaurants, including Lucca (which will be serving a creamy roasted mushroom soup made out of white button mushrooms and shiitake mushroom stock, and topped with dried porcini mushrooms), Scott’s Seafood (which will offer a spicy crab bisque consisting of shredded rock crab, brandy and a house-made marinara) and others like Mother, Zocalo, Grange, Cafe Bernardo and Evan’s Kitchen.

Soups will be served in handcrafted bowls designed by local artists, such as Wildfire Fusions artisan Jacque Mooney and Chadwick Pottery founder Connie Chadwick, as well as art students from Sacramento City College and the Allied Ceramics Art Institute.

The one-of-a-kind tableware, which is selected upon arrival, can also be taken home after guests finish their meals as a reminder of how hunger remains prevalent in the Sacramento region.

“I want people to understand that even though there’s an improving economy, there are still about 220,000 people in Sacramento County who have to go food pantries or food banks to make ends meet,” says the food bank's executive director Eileen Thomas, whose group raised $130,000 at its 2014 event and has a $150,000 fundraising goal for 2015.

In addition to wine, appetizers and dessert, Monday’s soup supper will also include a silent auction where guests can enter for a chance to win prizes such as a getaway to the Kahana Falls Resort in Maui, a Kate Spade handbag, and a Sacramento Kings behind-the-scenes experience.

The event will also host two luncheons on Tuesday, which will include a drawing where, for $5 per ticket, guests can enter to win prizes ranging from a Sacramento Republic FC experience package (including tickets and a signed soccer ball) to an autographed copy of the cookbook Make It Ahead signed by author and Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten.

March 9: $70; 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 10: $30; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sacramento Convention Center. 1400 J St. 446-2627.

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