Bowl-ing for dollar signs: Soup fest raises cash for Cobble Hill high school

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Photo gallery

Soup of the border: From left, Dominick Tritout, the owner of Jolie Cantina, chef Eliseo Gonzales, and Dominick dished out a Mexican broth.
Spoon-fed: Leslie and Jean-Jacques Bernat of Provence en Boite served up a lobster bisque that had the sopa-fiends flocking.
Hungry or thirsty?: No matter, Natasha Simons of Cobble Hill said she looks forward to the soup festival every year.
Open wide: Daniel Campanile of Cobble Hill's Pazzi Pasta filled bowls with the restaurant's traditional Sicilian grouper dish.

They got it while it was hot.

Thousands of soup lovers swarmed Smith Street in Carroll Gardens on Saturday for the fourth annual Smith Street Festival Des Soupes and organizers say the bowl bash was a spoon-licking good time.

“It was a great day!” said Bette Stoltz, executive director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, which organizes the soup crawl and cook-off. “People were smiling all over the place.”

For a mere $5, chowder-heads got the chance to chow down on five 4-ounce samples from about 25 neighborhood eateries along the famed restaurant row that runs from Second Street to Atlantic Avenue. For $10, serious bisque-hounds got to scarf down a dozen delicacies from eateries including Lunetta, Bar Tabac, Zaytoons, Kittery, Seersucker, Cantina, and many more. And from the sounds of things, the slurp-fest left a good taste in attendees’ mouths.

“It’s the epitome of what local Brooklyn neighborhood events are all about,” said soup fan Natasha Simons of Cobble Hill, adding that she looks forward to the bouillon blowout every year.

Simons, who rounded up a group of friends and family for the affair, described Kittery’s seafood chowder served in a bread bowl as “amazing.”

Participating restaurants also competed in a cook-off in which judges with broth on the brain, including local hardware store owner Matthew Mazzone and Irene LoRe of Park Slope’s now-shuttered Aunt Suzie’s, rated dishes on texture, appearance, and taste.

Winning restaurants received gold, silver, or bronze ladles — and of course major bragging rights.

Avlee Greek Kitchen scored gold ladles for a concoction called Avgolemono, made with chicken broth, orzo, and egg lemon sauce. Dassara also won top honors for its lamb-based ramen, and Lunetta brought home a gilded spoon for its kale, chorizo, white bean, and tomato dish.

But the real winner was the School for International Studies on Baltic Street, which pocketed $2,600 for its culinary program thanks to the soupstravaganza. The South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation split the profits 50-50 with the high school.

“We raised more money than ever before,” said Stoltz, explaining that she was inspired to create the ladel-palooza after attending a similar bash in a small town in Northern France.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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