Chef Waugh of Hot Shots wins first Stone Soup Challenge by one vote

Chocolate pudding and tuna play a role in soup-making strategy

Doug and Lindsay

CRANBROOK – It was a dramatic first day of the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge.

Chef Lindsay Waugh of Hot Shots Café took on Stone Soup veteran Chef Doug Wagner of St. Eugene Mission Resort. Waugh is a first-year culinary arts student at the College of the Rockies and a newcomer to the Stone Soup Challenge – but don’t take her lightly.

Not only did Waugh show up looking to win, she showed up with four chocolate-flavoured pudding cups for Chef Wagner to incorporate in his soup, if he dared.

He did dare. Wagner was bold and decisive and he returned an equally tough ingredient challenge to Waugh: a can of tuna fish. Waugh opted out of the ingredient challenge by making a $50 donation to the cause.

The chefs had two hours to prepare their soup. Waugh moved swiftly and strategically throughout the kitchen, creating a turkey and chick pea soup with Brazilian flavours.

Wagner’s experience and skill was commanding; he was in good spirits, using his challenge ingredient to enhance his choice of soup: a vegetarian chilli.

“The sweetness of chocolate works well in a chilli – in fact, I’ve used dark chocolate as a secret ingredient to flavour chilli before – so I decided to run with my instinct and make it work.”

During the challenge, Wagner received five extra stones in favour of his soup creation for choosing to incorporate the challenge ingredient.

But it wasn’t quite enough to pull off the win. Waugh defeated Wagner’s chilli in a vote of 33 to 32 – the closest call in Stone Soup history.

On Thursday, Chef Graham Barnes, Max’s Place, will take on amateur chef and Executive Director of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, David Hull.

After two weeks of elimination rounds, only two chefs will remain undefeated. They will face-off at an exciting luncheon fundraiser on Wednesday, March 2, noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort. The final event is sponsored by Investors Group. Tickets to the public grand finale 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.