Empty Bowls 2018
It all began with the fable, Stone Soup. A hungry traveler came to a village that supposedly had no meal to share. The traveler decided to make soup with only a pot and a stone. By the end of the story, the villagers had each an ingredient to spare and contributed everything from broth to vegetables to create a delicious soup enough for all of them.
That’s the origin of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina’s Empty Bowls fundraiser. Now in its 17th year, the incredibly popular Empty Bowls event helps Second Harvest’s mission of fighting hunger in the community. One in every six people living in Northwest North Carolina struggles with hunger. One in every four children goes without proper meals. To attend this event, guests buy a ticket, fill their handmade potter’s bowl (selected at the event), and help to feed the community. Guests also get to choose a soup meal provided by the area’s top restaurants. This year, by popular demand, Second Harvest has added an extra meal to the event. You can be a part of it on April 17 for the newly added dinner or on the traditional day of April 18 for lunch. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. The price includes the meal and an artisanal pottery bowl, which you get to take home or give as a gift.
Empty Bowls brings top local chefs and potters to help fight hunger in the Triad community. Participating restaurants include Finnigan’s Wake, Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Sweet Potatoes, Foothills Brewpub, Mozelle’s, Fourth Street Filling Station, Ryan’s, Jeffrey Adams on Fourth, Meridian Restaurant and more restaurants to be announced.
“The success of this Winston-Salem tradition comes from the support we receive from our community of sponsors, friends, artists, local restaurants, local chefs, and you,” said Ashley Bonner, whose favorite soup according to the website is chicken, and who is a communication and digital content manager of Empty Bowls.
Pottery artists from all over the Triad, as well as Seagrove and the High Country, will have their pottery available. Providence Restaurant, which is a program of Triad Community Kitchen and Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC is also a major participant.
“Providence is so excited to head up the all-star cast of local restaurants, food service establishments and other soup maestros at this year’s Empty Bowls event,” TCK Executive Director Jeff Bacon said. “We are particularly happy to be a part of the exciting new expansion of the event and the addition of a second day. Now, whatever your schedule, anyone can find a time to support the Food Bank’s quest to fill the empty bowls of Northwest North Carolina.”
TCK is a culinary and life skills training program that offers hands-on experience, leading to internships at local restaurants. Many TCK students are looking to gain new experiences after losing a job, or are experiencing hardships finding a job due to life circumstances. Once the student completes his or her course, the graduate can continue their training through the paid Hospitality Residency program at Second Harvest’s Providence Restaurant & Catering, located at the DoubleTree by Hilton on University Parkway in Winston-Salem. All proceeds from patrons’ tabs support TCK.
Executive Chef Mark Grohman, of Meridian, said he’d be making his famous Gazpacho.
“I’ve been participating since the very beginning,” he said. “It’s a great cause, and I always try to support Jeff Bacon and everything he does with Triad Community Kitchen.”
There will also be a silent auction where guests will be able to bid on vacations, tickets to shows as well as unique items that have been donated by local artists and area retailers. There will also be an Empty Bowls store to pick up some gift items. Proceeds from ticket purchases of the event help provide 105 meals to hungry individuals in our area. The money raised will also benefit special meal programs designed for children in NWNC facing food insecurity, including BackPack, Kids Cafe, School Pantry and Summer Meal programs. Fundraising efforts also help support and build Second Harvest’s partner networks helping small and local pantries obtain necessary funding, infrastructure, and food to serve their communities.
Local celebrities will be dishing out the soup and the fun both days. I’ll be there as a celebrity server at lunch on Wednesday. Empty Bowls’ title sponsor is Winston-Salem’s TW Garner Foods, home of Texas Pete and Green Mountain Gringo.
According to its website (hungerwnc.org), Second Harvest brings food and support to on-the-ground partner agencies across the 18 counties of Northwest North Carolina. Second Harvest also brings 36 million pounds of donated and reclaimed food annually to over 300,000 individuals and families facing hunger, including 100,000 children.
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.