Finalists set for Stone Soup Challenge

Shelby Schiller wins second semifinal, will go head-to-head with Kathy Morey.

Chefs Shelby Schiller and Doug Wagner serve up their soups to Salvation Army clients on Friday afternoon.

Chefs Shelby Schiller and Doug Wagner serve up their soups to Salvation Army clients on Friday afternoon.

The finalists are set for the Kootenay Granite Stone Soup Challenge.

Chef Shelby Schiller of BJ’s Restaurant will go head-to-head with the Salvation Army’s own cook Kathy Morey for the final event on March 4 at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort.

Schiller, with her tomato beef vegetable soup, came out ahead of challenger Chef Doug Wagner in the final semifinal on Friday at the Salvation Army Soup kitchen. Wagner, a sous chef with the St. Eugene Mission Resort, was just shy of five votes with his creation of a barbecue chicken soup.

Last time, in the preliminary round, Schiller won with a vegetable sausage soup and with that experience under her belt, she knew what to expect this time around.

From Wagner’s win earlier and his use of hamburger, Schiller figured she might have access to the same kind of meat for her soup in the semifinal.

“It put this idea in my head that I kind of planned this time. I wasn’t going to, but I did. I kind of knew what direction I’d go if there was hamburger here so it was kind of easy for me,” Schiller said.

Fortunately for her, there was hamburger available when she surveyed the available ingredients.

“I went in and grabbed everything I needed. I was very lucky this time, they actually had the cabbage and the hamburger left. It didn’t leave me hanging,” she said.

For Wagner, he knew he was going to make a completely different soup than his preliminary round winner of cheeseburger chowder.

“The only thing in common with the two was the basics. Carrots, celery and onions and both of them took entirely different directions,” Wagner said.

“I wanted to do something just different than last time with not knowing exactly what we’re coming into for stock, I just didn’t want to make another creamy chowder soup.”

Each chef is allowed one secret item from their home kitchen and both brought along a well-sharpened knife.

“It’s always good to have your trusty knife with you,” Schiller added.

Morey and Schiller will compete at the grand finale event on March 4, noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort and Convention Centre. Tickets to the public event are available in two prices: $25 for lunch; or, $45 for lunch and a $20 charitable receipt. They can be purchased with cash at Max’s Place or by calling 250-426-1119.

The Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort and Convention Centre is sponsoring the final event, as well as providing the Grand Ballroom, staff, and food at no cost, ensuring 100 per cent of proceeds from ticket sales go directly towards the Salvation Army homeless shelter project, as well as the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation general endowment fund, which provides annual grants to local non-profits.