I don’t often use my radioactive journalism powers for evil, selfish ends. I know that objectivity is important, that the truth matters, and that reporters shouldn’t let city council candidates buy them so much as a cup of coffee, even if it’s the high end, freshly ground stuff and you’ve got that 2:30 feeling. No, we must resist! We must live by the reporter’s code, like honor-bound superheroes.
- PHOTOS BY NICK POWELL
- SOUP ALLIES : Get it? Like the opposite of Soup Nazis? Incredibly charming and gracious with the soup, Charmaine Coimbra and Roberta Voge are volunteer docents with Friends of the Elephant Seal, the group responsible for the soupiest event of the season.
You think it’s a coincidence that both Spiderman and Superman have day jobs in journalism? Nope. We reporters are cut from that same cloth, and we have to adhere to the same ethical standards.
Anyway, I totally threw all that out the window for some free soup the other day. Couldn’t help myself. Soup is my kryptonite, except that it nourishes my body and weakens my convictions.
If the essence of soup could somehow take the form of a person, he’d be vibrant with flavor, chock full of wisdom, tall, strong, and handsome. I would be totally gay for him, and I don’t care who knows it.
So when I learned that a festival of soup was happening under my watch as art basher, I played the reporter card right quick and scored some free tickets to the event. How could I not? The Grand Ole Soupabration will feature nine of the county’s best restaurants competing to see who can boil veggies together the best. I’m talking Linn’s, Windows on the Water, Lido, and a grip of other phenomenal eateries. I’m certain their chefs can whip up some damn fine soup, right? You know I’m right. Celebrity judges will crown victors in several categories, and attendees will fill out ballots for their favorite as well.
- PHOTOS BY NICK POWELL
- PICTURED: HAPPINESS: Look at those tiny onions, swimming in a pool of creamy potato goodness. I’ll be gulping down cup after cup on Sunday, Sept. 9.
Plus, six wineries will be on site pouring drinks for an extra $10, and the Crustacea Jazz Band will be playing swanky Dixieland jams. Not enough for you? Fine. Here’s more: Authors David Helvarg, Marianne D. Wallace, and Sue McGinty will be there reading stories for kids and chatting with adults about publishing and the creative process, and a handful of plein air artists will be painting the scenery and auctioning off their finished products at the end of the afternoon.
I recently met two of the organizers for lunch at Novo (whose chef will compete at the Soupabration) to talk about how this wonderful event came to be. Charmaine Coimbra and Roberta Voge are volunteer docents with Friends of the Elephant Seal, a group that helps travelers and animal lovers understand what’s happening on the San Simeon beach where elephant seals congregate for sun-bathing, baby-making, and fighting.
“Those bluffs get awfully cold,” Coimbra said. “It’s not unusual to think ‘I can’t wait to go home and get some warm soup and a glass of wine.’”
For several years, Coimbra had thrown expensive dinner/dances to raise money for the docent program, which includes extensive training from wildlife experts who don’t come cheap.
Last year, the group decided to change the event in order to appeal to a broader audience, and soup was an obvious choice for cheap but delicious food. Every ticket comes with unlimited tasting of soups, which will come in four-ounce, biodegradable cups. In fact, everything at the waste-free event will be biodegradable or recyclable.
“I guarantee you can’t sample all of the soups,” Voge said.
Challenge accepted. Get ready, soup. I’m coming for you.
Staff Writer Nick Powell is about to get freaky on some soup. Send your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org.