Bowl fundraiser supports mission


Leasmi Amaya / The Advocate

Volunteer Anne Van Blaricon throws a vase on a pottery wheel in the Art Building Monday for the Empty Bowls event, scheduled for Oct. 13 in the Aqua Terra Grill.

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

The culinary arts department and the fine and media arts department will host the annual Empty Bowls event at the Aqua Terra Grill from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Attendees will be able to pick one ceramic bowl, go inside of the restaurant and get their bowl filled with one of the four soups available.

“Students pay $5 and the public pays $10 per bowl of soup. All of the money goes to the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond,” culinary department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said. “They can sample all of the soups we have that day. And before they leave we wash their bowls for them.”

Assistant ceramics professor Allen Perlof said this kind of event was created 30 years ago in the Midwest by a group of potters.

“This started because some people didn’t have food, so these potters would go out and get with an organization that has a food program for the hungry,” he said. “We have around 700 bowls. Some are left over from years past because we don’t sell out all the time.”

Chef Elisabeth Schwarz said first semester culinary arts students will have an opportunity to participate in their first fundraiser.

“They will get to produce a high volume of food for the first time,” she said.

Schwarz said the ingredients for the food was all donated and that the most popular menu item is the clam chowder — the only confirmed soup so far.

“Having more experience after doing it for several years now really helps the planning,” she said. “We have been meeting with the art department for the last few months.”

Sharkes said, “We started preparing for this event six months prior to the event. We have a meeting with (people in) the art department. That’s when we decide on the date and the soups.”

“Back before we started this event, one of the projects for the Ceramics class was to make bowls,” Perlof said. “Then we thought of starting an Empty Bowls here so we asked the culinary department if they wanted to participate.”

“They usually bring the bowls to us two weeks prior to the event,” Sharkes said.

Perlof said that the art students who made bowls will be at the event.

“This way the people who buy the bowls get a chance to meet the students who made them,” he said.