The Village Inn and SATO, Serene Gardens' new restaurant in Buffalo, were winners again this past Sunday at the fourth annual Buffalo Soup-Fest, held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
The Village Inn's Mayan Chocolate Stout Chili took home the Best Chili award for the second year in a row. Chef Sarah Mallare made the winning recipe for the restaurant owned by Mike Carr at 1488 Ferry Road. The Village Inn also served Lemon Tabasco Clam Chowder and Beans and Greens soups at the event.
SATO won three awards - Best City soup, Best Stew and Best Ethnic soup. Their offerings at Soup-Fest featured Pumpkin Chicken with Miso, Japanese Braised Pork Stew and Shitake Tomato Soup. SATO's chef is Satomi Smith, who also served as chef at the Serene Gardens restaurant at 2800 Grand Island Blvd. Serene Gardens won last year for Best Kept Secret at Soup-Fest. The restaurant portion of Serene Garden's business has relocated to Buffalo and held its grand opening this week at 739 Elmwood Ave. Serene Gardens is a landscaping company and gallery owned by Satomi's husband, Joshua M. Smith and his brother, Mathew M. Smith. The business designs, builds and maintains contemporary and Japanese-style gardens.
Also participating in Soup-Fest this year was Saffire Grill. The restaurant at 2340 Grand Island Blvd. offered Chicken Quesadilla Soup, Caesar Soup and Hot Banana Pepper Soup at the festival.
Soup-Fest 2014 drew more than 7,000 people to the convention center in its first year at the downtown Buffalo venue. More than 30 restaurants participated, offering 100 or more varieties of soups. Portions of the proceeds are being donated to charitable organizations.