Alaric advances with home kitchen advantage

Salvation Army chef advances over Kevin McDonald of West Coast Grill in latest Stone Soup Challenge event.

Chef Kevin McDonald of the West Coast Grill went up against Carmen Alaric—the Salvation Army’s own resident chef in the third matchup of the opening round of the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge on Friday at the Salvation Army.

Chef Kevin McDonald of the West Coast Grill went up against Carmen Alaric—the Salvation Army’s own resident chef in the third matchup of the opening round of the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge on Friday at the Salvation Army.

As part of the opening round of the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge, competing chefs can bring along a mystery item that the other chef must use in their soups.

After three rounds, only one chef has declined to use the mystery ingredient in their soup—a testament to the skill of the culinary artists plying their trade in the Salvation Army soup kitchen.

Friday afternoon saw the latest round go down between Chef Kevin McDonald of the West Coast Grill, who went up against the Salvation Army’s own resident chef Carmen Alaric.

McDonald was given the challenge of incorporating home-made mint-flavoured cookie pudding into his creation, while dishing out cookie dough that Alaric had to incorporate in her soup.

However, both rose to their respective challenges with their masterful creations; for McDonald, a curry-roasted turkey and vegetable soup, while Alaric whipped up a tomato-based hamburger soup.

Sampling the end result, you wouldn’t even be able to detect any traces of the mystery ingredients of cookie dough and pudding.

In the end, it was Alaric and her home-grown knowledge of the Salvation Army clientele palates that put her over the top by a 32-25 margin over McDonald. Each chef used the mystery ingredient and were therefore awarded five extra votes for their final tally.

McDonald made his way up to the Salvation Army kitchen after flipping a few hundred pancakes at his daughter’s elementary school for a fundraiser, while Alaric had some help in spirit, sporting a t-shirt in support of Jaxson Campbell, a local 11-month old boy who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a rare cancer.

The Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge is a joint fundraiser for the Salvation Army’s proposed 24/7 homeless shelter and the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation’s general endowment fund.

Next up is the conclusion of the opening round as Chef Rusty Cox of the Heidout Restaurant and Brewhouse will go up against the defending champion in Shelby Schiller of BJ’s Diner and Creekside Pub in Kimberley on Monday.

Semi final matchups will begin next Tuesday Feb. 23, as chef Graham Barnes of Max’s Place will take on Lindsay Waugh of Hot Shots Cafe.

Semifinals will conclude by the end of next week, with only two undefeated chefs who will then face off for a final event at noon on Wednesday, March 2, at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort. Tickets are averrable at Max’s Place, through the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation by calling 250-426-1119 or online through Snapd East Kootenay.