Chef Rusty Cox wins semi-final event and will meet Chef Graham Barnes in final soup showdown

Rusty and CarmenCox’s beef and pork soup with butternut squash wins over Alaric’s cream of broccoli and cheddar soup

The final Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge chef match-up is now set in stone: Chef Graham Barnes of Max’s Place will face Chef Rusty Cox of the Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse on Wednesday, March 2, at the grand finale event.

Today, in what was the last soup-off challenge at the Salvation Army Soup kitchen, Chef Cox beat-out Chef Carmen Alaric of the Salvation Army by a score of 28-25.

“The soups have been excellent,” says Brendan, a Salvation Army guest who has cast his vote in almost every challenge over the last two weeks. “They were very nutritious and made with a lot of heart. I’ve enjoyed them greatly, and am appreciative of everybody who came here to cook for us.”

On a budget of $125, Chef Barnes and Chef Cox can prepare any soup their heart desires for the grand finale event. The soups will be judged by the previously eliminated Stone Soup chefs, as well as a couple guest chefs from local restaurants and celebrity guest judges. However, everyone in attendance will get to sample each of the chef’s soup creations.

So after two weeks, eight top chefs and 12 different soups, only one question remains: Who will be crowned Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Chef 2016?

Find out at the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge grand finale fundraiser on Wednesday, March 2, noon to 1:30 p.m. The final event, sponsored by Investors Group, takes place at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort. Come early to browse the Silent Auction.

Tickets to the soup-off are available in two prices: $25 for lunch; or, $45 for lunch and a $20 charitable receipt. They can be purchased with cash at Max’s Place, through the CDCF office by calling 250.426.1119 or online through Snapd East Kootenay.