Guest Chefs on the Menu at New Soup Restaurant
Zoupwerks inviting Kent residents in to share their family soup recipes
Durant invited Hook, who is not employed at the soup shop, into his new restaurant at Acorn Alley II to dish out servings of her great-grandmother's lentil soup this week.
The idea, Durant said, is to help establish the restaurant's place in the Kent community. There's no concrete plan for the guest chef appearance, but Durant would like to turn it into a sort of local celebrity chef competition that lets customers vote on the guest recipes.
Hook, a self-described "soup-aholic," said she went to the shop when it first opened and told Durant he should serve her grandmother's lentil soup. She didn't expect anything to come of the suggestion at first, but when Durant called her after Thanksgiving to invite her in she couldn't turn him down.
"I appreciate good business, and to me good business isn’t just good product," Hook said. "It’s figuring out your place in the community."
Hook said the feedback was huge from friends and customers who came in for the soup on Tuesday — she made 70 servings — and left feeling good about the idea.
"It was the top-seller from what I hear," she said.
The recipe is based off her great-greandmother's, who immigrated from Lebanon to the U.S. in the early 1900s.
Hook found a helpful staff at the eatery that bent over backwards to help her out, and that included making ingredient runs to the Kent Natural Foods Co-Op. She also found a willingness from Durant for more local partnerships with bakers and other local chefs.
Hook didn't necessarily turn a big profit from her guest chef appearance, but for her it was more about the experience.
"I didn’t care whether he paid me for my time or not, I just thought it was cool I got to make my great-grandmother’s soup in a soup kitchen," she said. "I hope he does this some more. There are so many foodies in Kent."