Chef Graham Barnes is off to the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge final.
Barnes, representing Max’s Place, came out on top of the first semifinal matchup against Chef Lindsay Waugh of Hot Shots Cafe on Tuesday as the first clash between four semifinalists went down at the Salvation Army soup kitchen.
Both ended up creating a turkey vegetable soup, however, Barnes opted to toss in some rice while Waugh decided to add some pasta.
In the end, it was Barnes’ 22 years of culinary experience that helped propel him to a 24-19 victory as voted by the Salvation Army clientele. Barnes’ opponent, Waugh, gave him a good challenge, as she has been creating soups with Hot Shots Cafe for close to three years and is a first-year student in the Culinary Arts program at the College of the Rockies.
With the conclusion of the opening round, the semifinals did not include the twist of chefs presenting a mystery ingredient that the opposing chef had to use in their soup.
The exclusion of the mystery ingredient helped the chefs focus more on their soups without worrying about how to handle the curveball of an unanticipated item, such as, say chocolate pudding or a pecan pie.
“It was a little less stressful,” said Barnes.
Despite no mystery ingredient, Waugh said she was tried not to make a plan and make it up as she went along, according to what ingredients she could find in the Salvation Army pantries.
“I tried to prepare last time, but nothing I thought of was actually here, so I didn’t prepare anything—I had no idea what I was going to do,” she said.
Barnes had spied some turkey last time he was in the kitchen that he wanted to use.
“I saw turkey last time I was here and I was hoping it was still here, and it was,” he said.
Barnes heads to the final event at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort, where he will face the winner of the second semifinal on Friday between Chef Rusty Cox of The Heidout Restaurant and Brewhouse and Carmen Alaric, the resident chef of the Salvation Army soup kitchen.
Tickets for the final event, which will be held on Wednesday, March 2, can be purchased at Max’s Place, by calling the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation at 250-426-1119 or online through Snapd East Kootenay.
The stone soup challenge is a joint fundraiser shared between the Salvation Army’s proposed 24/7 homeless shelter and the CDCF general endowment fund.