Harp music floats over the babbling crowd, punctuated by laughter and the clink of golden spoons as they pile-up beside the bubbling pots.
“It was just such a fun night, you know?” said Jessica Andrusko, lifestyle consultant at Lincoln Park Retirement Residence in Grimsby. “Everyone was having a great time being together, and just enjoying the soups, the prizes, the atmosphere, everything.”
Over 100 people came out to Lincoln Park’s soup-tasting event. The event, named So You Think You Can Soup, brought local restaurants together in a competition for the title of The Best Soup in Grimsby. Participants were encouraged to try all of the soups at the event and vote for their favourite by placing a golden spoon in a box beside their chosen soup. Tickets to the event were $15, with all proceeds going to McNally House Hospice.
“The residents voted, and they chose the charity that they wanted to support,” Jessica said. “We’re a very small town, so everybody knows McNally house.”
A table was set-up to represent McNally House at the event. At the table guests could leave a donation, participate in a 50/50 draw, and get information. There was also a silent auction and raffle during the event, as well as four delicious soups to sample. De La Terre Kitchen offered a roasted fennel and tomato soup; The Judge & Jester had a pumpkin spice soup; The Forty Publichouse served a chicken and dumpling soup; and Lincoln Park brought out a black bean with crème fraiche soup.
“We actually did a taste testing each week so our residents were able to taste-test and vote on which soup they wanted us to enter into the competition, and we had a lot of hype, which was great,” Jessica said.
Though the black bean with crème fraiche soup won the best soup made at Lincoln Park, The Forty Publichouse’s chicken and dumpling soup collected the most spoons, winning it the title of Best Soup in Grimsby.
The event, which originally aimed to raise $1,500, wound-up raising $2,415 dollars for McNally House.
“We just blew that goal out of the water… the residents were absolutely floored with how much money we were in fact able to raise for McNally House,” Jessica said. “[The residents] were just so happy to be able to support McNally House in that way.”
Lincoln Park is already planning to hold another taste-testing competition.
“We definitely plan to do something next year, we’re actually thinking of doing pizza this time,” Jessica said with a laugh. “The best pizza in Grimsby.”