By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The fifth annual Starkville Young Professionals SOUPer Bowl is scheduled today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at State Theater. Tickets are $20 at the door, and proceeds benefit the United Way of North Central Mississippi. Children 12 and under get in for $5 and children under age 3 are admitted for free.
SYP President Robyn Cain said the theme for this year’s SOUPer Bowl is “You decide who’s hot.” First, second and third place are chosen by attendees, who each receive a ballot and choose their three favorites. Another award, Best in Show, is given to the booth with the best overall presentation.
“The SYP SOUPer Bowl is a great way for restaurants and Starkville Young Professionals to give back to the community,” Cain said. “In its fifth year, SOUPer Bowl is a community event that the young and old look forward to each year.”
Cain said the event is part of the second Savor Our South weekend where participants can enjoy a taste of the new South, Starkville style.
“Everyone will have the opportunity to sample delicious soups from ... local restaurants and test their picks against the SYP’s top honors,” Cain said.
Cain said honors will be awarded at 2 p.m. so plenty of time remains for MSU basketball fans to travel to the Hump for MSU’s game against Auburn.
“Some of last year’s champs will be participating including Harvey’s and The Veranda,” Cain said.
SOUPer Bowl 2012 participating restaurants include Three Little Pigs, Bin 612, Sweet Peppers Deli, Brian Michael’s, Harvey’s, The Ritz, Old Venice Pizza Co., Hilton Garden Inn, The Veranda, Restaurant Tyler, Zorba’s and Chef Dave’s Smoked Meats & Fine Catering.
Arma de la Cruz, director of marketing for the Eat With Us group, said the SOUPer Bowl inspires chefs at each of its restaurants to come up with new soup recipes that sometimes end up on their menus.
“These type of events such as the SOUPer Bowl allows our chefs and managers to step out of the restaurant and interact with our customers in a different setting while at the same time raising money for a good cause,” de la Cruz said.
Restaurant Tyler, Bin 612 and Zorba’s Chef Ty Thames said he loves participating in SOUPer Bowl each year.
“It’s a well put together event, it’s fun and it’s for a great cause,” Thames said. “All of our restaurants are participating.”
Martin Crawford of Old Venice said the restaurant looks forward to competing in the community event.
“Being members of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, we like to stay as active in the community as possible,” Crawford said. “Knowing that it’s going for such a great cause makes it even better. Old Venice is proud to participate in an event that is both fun and helps out our community.”