The Austin Empty Bowl Project has been an event on my radar for years. I have attempted to sign up as a volunteer, too late to be accepted. I have attempted to be a guest, dissuaded by the hours long line and hard parking. This year, I begged my friend Charles Mayes, of Cafe Josie to let me help him and he obliged. I showed up at the restaurant around 9:30 the day of the event, and he was cooking away.
The rough soup was then blended with the creamier portion, which brought the whole soup together in perfect harmony.
His now famous, Fire Roasted Artichoke, Tomato Bisque was profiled on Rachael Ray’s show years ago, and folks still come in asking for it. He has no set soup menu, and makes a soup of the day, every day, based on what inspires him on a given day. This soup has been his contribution for the Empty Bowl Project for years, and folks keep coming back, and it was obvious that the word was out in the soup line, when folks showed up with their bowls.
My job was garnish:
I was stoked to be a part of the whole event. It is such an amazing event, that starts well in advance of the actual soup serving day. Around 5000 ceramic bowls were designed, decorated and fired before this day, from kids at schools, from private parties, from celebrities, from Whole Foods events and on and on. Some were amazing in their creativity, some so gorgeous in their simple kid-like spirit. All for an amazing cause, the Capital Area Food Bank.
The bowls made by children really touched me.
It was amazing to see that so many good folks were willing to wait in line for a cool bowl filled with amazing soup. It made me feel humble, and I was happy to help out.
I was surprised at this line almost an hour before the event started. This line easily quadrupled and stayed at that level until 3:00 pm.
The whole event was so wonderful, and I am so thankful to get to be a part of it. The Capital Area Food Bank serves so many in need, especially during the holidays. You can host a food drive at your office, at your next party, or wherever. Just ask that each person donate one item, and we can make sure everyone gets the good food they need to succeed.