Gwen Fowler



Myrtle Beach Souper Supper a big success

Posted 11/30/2010 1:22:00 PM

Can there be any better food on a cool day than a bowl of steaming-hot soup? Apparently lots of folks around the Myrtle Beach area agreed since crowds turned out for the 15th annual Souper Supper Nov. 7.

It was the coolest day of the season so far, and the large tent set up at The Market Common was packed. Why not? A $10 ticket got you as many servings of soup as you liked from about 35 area chefs.

The event, sponsored by the American Culinary Federation, helps provide scholarships for culinary students at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

Prizes are given in several categories, and the public gets to vote for their favorite. By the time I left, the roasted corn and crab chowder of Bliss of Pawleys Island was leading by a mile. It was excellent: extremely creamy with lots of crab and the taste of sherry.

Chef Ernest Bledsoe and his wife, Kimberly, who was spooning up the soup, had to be pleased about that because the restaurant, at the Inlet Sports Lodge in Murrells Inlet, only opened about a week earlier.

Bledsoe isn’t a new face to the Grand Strand, though. Until recently, he was the executive chef at Pawleys Plantation.

Bliss wasn’t the only new restaurant participating. Nacho Hippo, which opened a couple weeks after the supper at Market Common, was serving tortilla soup. Just a sip gave you lots of different tastes and textures: cheese, roasted peppers, and the crunch of tortilla strips on top.

One of my favorites was an offering by Bistro 217 of Pawleys Island – a winter mushroom soup, which was served with a crostini spread with goat cheese. It was thick and had a rich mushroom taste.

Nibils Restaurant, which has been on the pier in Surfside Beach since 1984 but soon will open at 33rd Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, had a delicious shrimp and andouille sausage gumbo, thick with okra with two big shrimp spooned on top of each serving.

By far, the most unusual soup I tasted was dill pickle soup from International Kitchen, a Polish-American restaurant in Longs. Yes, it had a strong pickle taste, but it was yummy.