Plenty of cooks — and others —
in Empty Bowls kitchen

Darlene Fillion shows off some of the creative bowls available for next week's Empty Bowls fundraiser.

There are still some empty seats for next week’s Empty Bowls fundraiser.

But if you’re not inclined to be like Oliver Twist and left asking for more, you’ll want to shortly get your ticket to the Desert Sun Counselling and Resource’s Centre’s signature event.

“I’m expecting we’ll definitely be sold out over the weekend,” said Sandy Summers, the Desert Sun board member largely responsible for this year’s event, to be held at the Watermark Beach Resort Nov. 14.

The ladling begins at 6 p.m., although smart bears know to arrive early to get the best choice of bowls.

The annual event — this is the society’s fourth helping — involves local restaurants, wineries, cideries and breweries, bakeries and, of course, the Osoyoos Potters.

“They make 200 one-of-a-kind soup bowls,” said Ms. Summers of the potters, who donate the gorgeous handmade creations to the effort.

“People come in and they are able to choose a handmade soup bowl. They use it for the evening to enjoy the soups made by the local chefs; at the end of the night the soup bowl goes home empty to remind of those who have less in our community.”

The meal itself is a sampling of eight soups, accompanied by bread and washed down with wine, cider or beer.

“We have eight restaurants making soup and two others making dessert,” said Ms Summers. “We have a people’s choice award, so there will be ballots there for people to vote for their favourite soup and at the end of the night we present the winning chef with the Bowl trophy.”

The Lake Village Bakery donates all the bread. Oliver’s Medici’s Gelateria is providing  Gelato and Osoyoos Dairy Queen is delivering ice cream sandwiches.

Spirits will be compliments of Sonora Desert and VinAmité wineries, the Firehall Brewery and Faustino Estate Cidery.

It is the bowls, of course, that are the main attraction.

“It’s a labour of love really because we enjoy doing pottery,” explained local potter Darlene Fillion, who heads up the local guild and organizes the creation of the 200 bowls needed for each event.

The entire process from spinning to drying and trimming to firing and glazing can take up to a month, she said.

“By the time you go through the process, it’s three or four weeks before you get the finished product.”

Ticket sales are limited to the 200 bowls hand-crafted by the potters. As of Thursday afternoon, about 160 tickets had sold. That number is down from previous years, when the event was a quick sellout.

But Ms. Summers said a move to a Wednesday evening — a better night for the restaurants to participate — and a busy November have impacted sales this season.

“There are a few other things happening in November so it’s a busy month in a small town where we think there’s not a lot going on but actually there’s always lots happening.”

The centre expects to raise up to $20,000 with the fundraiser.

“The funds go to our programming,” said Ms. Summers. “We have our safe home that we operate. We have our 24-hour crisis line for women to call. We have a men’s counselling program that we have to 100 percent fundraise for.”

Tickets are available online at $49 each by following the link from the Desert Sun website.


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