Austin, Texas knows how to soup it up. The Empty Bowl project brings together potters, artists, bakers, chefs and hungry residents to raise money for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.
“The Empty Bowl Project is potters donate bowls, restaurants donate soup and bread. Folks come out and buy a bowl for $15 and have it filled with soup which they enjoy while listening to live music,” said organizer Hester Weigand. “Everything we have out here is donated.”
When we arrived at 11AM, hundreds of people lined the grass outside the American Mexican Cultural Center. On this bright Austin day at the 14th annual Empty Bowl Project, the atmosphere was festive as the lines snakes through the grass field.
Potter Kelly Hill and her daughter demonstrated bowl making for an attentive crowd gathered around their pottery wheel.
Kids could not resist the photo op and jumped in and out of a huge soup pot complete with stirring paddles. Here is one cutie stirring up Trouble!
We selected our bowls from hundreds of unique pieces of every size and color imaginable. After we paid for our bowl, our next stop was the cleaning table. Each bowl is washed, rinsed and dried assembly line fashion.
Next, it was time to fill our bowls. Four soups were available to choose from with different soups rotating in. I was glad to see vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options offered. We stopped at the bread baskets on the way to our tables. We dined outdoors at long community tables and listened to live music. After we ate, we washed our bowls at the washing station.
We admired the the silent auction artist and celebrity created bowls. Cindi Lauper, John Waters, Aaron Neville, Pat Metheny, Adam West, Dan Aykrod, Steve Martin, Dr. John, Chris Isaak and others.
Click on Hester’s picture below to view this episode of “Where Are You Today?”
Hester told us, “The event is a fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank, specifically the Kids Cafe program which provides a hot evening meal and after school tutoring for kids who might not have a place to go after school. There are 34 of those locations around town and they serve over 2,000 kids a day.
Plans are under way for next year’s Empty Bowl project. For more information on volunteering or attending the event, visit the Empty Bowl Project online or follow them on Facebook. Find them on Twitter and use the hashtag #emptybowl.