Western New Yorkers Get Together For Some Soup

January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 12:34 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 12:34 AM EDT

"The Taste of Buffalo"..."Wing Fest"...Buffalo has its share of delicious food festivals. Now for the first time in the dead of winter...western New Yorkers get another chance to feast on some comfort food! Outside it's cold and snowy. But inside, warm soup is waiting. It's the first of its kind...a festival of soup. The Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga hosted the day long chance to sample the creamy delights of more than 30 restaurants.

"My wife and I were sitting in my living room. It was cold and we were eating soup. My wife said there's a festival for everything in Buffalo. Why is there not a festival for soup?" said organizer Matt Carlucci. About an hour after the start of the Buffalo Soup-fest, The crowd was shoulder to shoulder, with patrons longing to get their hands on a warm bowl. Business was so brisk...that supplies began to run low and eventually run out.

"We ran out early on that soup, because there was such a big draw for it. It was artichoke heart hot banana pepper soup, with a cream base. Everyone loved it," said Tim Bosch of Brodo restaurant. John Mosby of Kensington Avenue restaurant recalls him tale, "I never made so much soup. I made 35 gallons and I had to go back to the restaurant and make more taco soup. Amazing, the turn out. Everybody loves it."

"Normally something like that makes people upset, it turns them away and they don't want to be a part of it. But, people were just ...they wanted to experience it. It's just something new and exciting and they just had to fight their way through the crowd to get to some of the best soup and the best food from some of the best restaurants western New York," Carlucci said.

Participating restaurants were judged in more than 30 categories to find the best soups in the area. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hunters Hope charity. Carlucci says people want more, "Really what they are saying, is that next year it's got to be bigger. They want more restaurants, they want more stuff to do." So, with and event this popular in its first year...you can look forward to the second annual Buffalo Soup-fest, next year.