Empty Bowls are served with savory culinary soups


Archive / The Advocate

Ceramics instructor Mary Law (right) shows off a ceramic bowl to art majors Barbara Burgess (left) and Grace Brown at Fireside Hall.

By Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

As in previous years, the culinary arts department and the art department will team up to host the 6th Annual Empty Bowls Project event in the Aqua Terra Grill (SA-130) from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
Participants in the event will choose their own ceramic bowls and a choice of the four available soups. The art department will provide the ceramic bowls and the culinary students will provide the soup.
The collaborative effort is in its sixth year and it is expected to have its biggest turnout yet.
Their bowls will be filled with the soup of their choosing and participants can keep their ceramic bowls after they are done using them.
Culinary arts department instructional assistant Angel Chau said, “The event is open to students and the public with prices varying between groups. Students pay $5 and the public pays $10 for their bowls, with all proceeds going to the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond. Guests are encouraged to buy additional bowls for $10 each.”
Chau said four different soups will be available Friday, however clam chowder and a vegetarian option are the only confirmed soups thus far. After the guests are done with their bowl, culinary students wash them and return them to patrons so they can take them home.
Contra Costa College ceramics professor Mary Law said the Empty Bowls Project was started about 20 years ago and is now an international event aimed at ending hunger and addressing food insecurity.
This humanitarian effort started in Michigan with two potters sharing a common goal toward raising money and fighting food insecurity.
“This is now our sixth year holding the event on campus. I brought up the idea for the Empty Bowls event because I felt the art department was not getting recognition. So we decided to do something collaborative and meaningful with the culinary arts department,” Law said.
Assistant ceramics professor Allen Perloff said art students taking ceramics classes make about four to six bowls apiece for the event.
“The ceramic bowls is the first project given to students in our pottery class. Students make about four to six bowls for the event and it helps give them a lot of experience. By their sixth bowl they feel comfortable in their bowl-making skills,” he said.
Ceramics student Ilena Ferrer said students enjoy having their work be part of such a good cause.
“At first it is kind of hard to let go of your art, but it feels really good to know it is going to a good cause,” she said.
“Knowing the ceramic bowls are going to be taken home by someone motivates you to want to make a really good bowl. And it’s an easy way to help. By the end, we are experienced on (making) the bowls.”