Canadian Family-Owned Restaurant, stuffed. Delicious Handcrafted Perogies came out on top winning Overall Best Soup at the 21st Annual SoupFest, which took place at the Hamilton Convention Centre on February 28th.
SoupFest is a local fundraiser to support Living Rock Youth Ministries, (since 1985) a charitable organization that serves youth aged 13-25. Living Rock offers youth, a safe place in the community, as well as support, education and other services.
SoupFest brings together local restaurants and chefs from across the region who “throw their ladel in the ring” serving up a variety of soups to the public, as well as a panel of judges. Patrons purchase a $20 ticket which entitles them to four bowls of soup. Hundreds of guests made their way through the facility tasting the various offerings and voting in categories including Best Soup, Tastiest Heart Smart Soup, Best Display, and Most Creative Soup.
Team Perogy from stuffed. have won awards for the past four years at SoupFest and had a good showing again this year, also winning 1st Runner Up for the Best Display and 1st Runner Up for the Best Soup (as Voted by the Tasting Panel).
In 2021 (during COVID-19), stuffed. offered a Bacon Mushroom Soup which was the winner for Best Soup and 2nd Runner Up for the Most Creative Soup (through online voting). And in 2022, a year without voting, just two awards for Most Funds Raised and Number of Bowls Served, the latter which was won by stuffed. for submission of their Chicken Pot Pie Soup.
Canada Takeout spoke with Communications Manager at stuffed., Michelle Schmidt about their creative process in crafting a specialty soup for SoupFest. “The Annual SoupFest entry is always something new that we have never offered before, but then becomes so popular with our own customers that the variety gets added to our permanent menu. We still have a hard time keeping our Dill Pickle Soup in stock from 2020, and we have one couple that orders a dozen containers of our Bacon Mushroom Soup every couple of months to always have on hand in their freezer.” adding that, “Many of the other restaurants rely on what’s currently trending in the foodservice industry, or something that sells well in their establishment. The soup varieties are kept confidential until the day of the event when the doors open to the public.
Michelle said that after weeks of brainstorming, Chef Michael Schmidt or “Chef Mike” shortlisted 2 or 3 soup varieties before preparing test batches and perfecting the one recipe he decides to use.
Chef Mike may even use our other menu items and creates a soup out of them. For example, the Bacon Mushroom and Creamy Spinach Artichoke, which were originally dips, and the Chicken Pot Pie Soup which he tweaked from his Meat Pie filling recipe. Who knows what he’ll invent for 2024?
Looking to try their soups? Stuffed. sells frozen containers of their Award-Winning Soups, Handcrafted Perogies, Cabbage Rolls and other Heat & Serve Entrées to take home on Saturdays during the Winter Farmers’ Market at Connon Nurseries (656 Robson Road in Waterdown, Ontario) from 10 am to 2 pm, plus the Waterdown Farmers’ Market throughout the summer from May 27th to October 14th.
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