Originally Published: September 13, 2013 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT - Empty Bowls has gone international in its efforts to end hunger.
For the last 16 years, the Prescott Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation have sponsored the event locally as a benefit for food banks.
While the all-volunteer event has grown over the years, proceeds go to the food banks in the quad city area, including Prescott Community Cupboard, Chino Valley Food Bank, Prescott Valley Food Bank, Yavapai County Food Bank and Open Door.
More than 800 bowls are expected to sell during the 2013 Empty Bowls event, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 15, at Courthouse Plaza. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost for a bowl is $15. Each bowl was created prior to the event by a local ceramist and wood turner. Those who purchase a bowl will be treated to a gourmet soup prepared by 14 chefs from area restaurants, as well as rolls and bottled water. A silent auction and specialty raffle item will round out the annual event.
Sandra Rogers, spokesperson for the Empty Bowls Committee, said planning for the event typically begins about six months in advance.
"We start by making sure we have all the committee members we need. A lot of the members decide they want to take a break and travel or whatever, so we make sure everyone is still interested in being on the committee. The first part of the publicity that has to be done pretty early is to get the event on Prescott Chamber of Commerce calendar and then we have to secure the space on the Courthouse Plaza," Rogers said.
Clay is distributed early to potters in the area, particularly to Yavapai College.
"Everything is donated," Rogers said.
Soups for the event will include a fire-roasted tomato bisque from Peter Padilla of Black Canyon Grill, Gazpacho from Judy May of Iron Springs Cafe, Country Mushroom from Premier Catering and Events, Chicken Tortilla from Cowgirl in the Kitchen, Pasole from El Gato Azul, Tomato Mushroom from the Prescott Brewing Company, Buffalo Three Bean from Hassayampa Inn, Tomato and Bleu Cheese Bisque from New Frontiers, New England Clam "Chowdah" from Prescott Lobster and Seafood Company, Sopa de Lima from Soldi - Creative Cuisine and Catering, Spiced Carrot from Coyote Joe's, Butternut Squash from Fork in the Road and Loaded Baked Potato from Park Plaza Deli. Chef Todd Bulock will prepare a special 12th century recipe for Scottish Cockaleekie during the event as well.
Rogers recommended arriving early to the popular event.
"You may end up waiting in line for half an hour and sometimes longer. We usually have about eight tables set up with bowls. You can pick the one that grabs your eye. Then you can enjoy the soup out of the bowl you pick. Sometimes the bowls aren't made with soup in mind. They're more artistic. We'll have Styrofoam bowls for those who want to eat their soup out of that. You'll get two servings of soup," she said.
Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier.