Chef Rusty Cox victorious with a curried sausage and squash soup

The Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge kicks-off with two nutritious, delicious soups

Chef Graham Barnes, Chef Rusty Cox, and Chef Kathy Morey serve lunch to more than 50 Salvation Army clients at today’s Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge.

CRANBROOK – As expected, it was an epic battle between two of Cranbrook’s best chefs from two of the city’s most beloved restaurants.

Chef Rusty Cox of The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse was matched against Chef Graham Barnes of Max’s Place in what was a close and exciting competition. The atmosphere was light and the laughter plentiful. The challenge started off with a flavourful bang when one chef, who will remain nameless, jokingly dangled a bottle of “Mrs. Dash” over his competitor’s soup. Rest assured, both soups were served without sabotage, and no chefs were harmed in the making of this competition.

In the end, it was Chef Cox who reigned supreme with his curried sausage and squash soup with vegetables and grains. The other soup prepared by Chef Barnes, a cream of cauliflower and cheddar, also earned plenty of praise from the Salvation Army cliental. Votes were 31 to 24.

“Both soups are delicious,” says Salvation Army guest Marilyn. “This is a very good lunch. Lots of fun to be a part of.”

Tomorrow at the Salvation Army soup kitchen, Chef Shelby Schiller of BJ’s Diner and Creekside Pub in Kimberley will take on Chef Barb Smythe of The Roadhouse Grill in Cranbrook.

On Friday, Chef Marc Rathpoller of Tuscany’s will go against Sous Chef Doug Wagner of St Eugene Mission Resort.

Semi-finals will take place the following week starting on Monday, Feb 23, where Chef Cox will defend his first round victory against Kathy Morey, the Salvation Army chef.

The Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge will conclude with the two final chefs competing at an exciting luncheon fundraiser on March 4, noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort. Tickets to the public event are available in two prices: $25 for lunch; or, $45 for lunch and a $20 charitable receipt. Proceeds are in support of the Salvation Army in their efforts to build a 24/7 shelter in Cranbrook for homeless men, women, and families throughout the East Kootenay, as well as the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation (CDCF) general endowment fund, which provides annual grants to non-profit organizations in the community.

Tickets to the final event can be purchased with cash at Max’s Place or by calling 250.426.1119.