EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Varsity Inn in Ocean City and Gregory’s Bar and Restaurant in Somers Point took the top honors for their signature soups at Atlantic Christian School’s fifth Bowls of Hope soup-tasting benefit Saturday, Feb. 3.

The Varsity Inn received the people’s choice Golden Spoon Award for its baked Jersey tomato soup, and Gregory’s received the Chef’s Souper Soup Award for its chicken and sausage gumbo.

Twenty-one restaurants and chefs participated, and more than 500 people came to sample soup and vote for their favorite.

Towne & County Café in Egg Harbor Township placed a close second to Gregory’s for the Golden Spoon Award with its tomato basil soup. 

Joseph Massaglia, owner of Mama Mia’s Ristorante in Seaville and host of the “Joe’s Table for Two” radio show on WOND 1400 AM, was the judge for the Chef’s Souper Soup Award. Café 80 West in Galloway with its Mulligatawny Soup and Brick House Pub and Grille in Mays Landing placed second and third, respectively, for the award.

Student performers provided entertainment throughout the evening, and guests bid on silent auction baskets donated by the preschool and elementary classes.

Proceeds benefit the Atlantic City Rescue Mission and educational programs at Atlantic Christian School. In addition, a canned food drive spearheaded by high school students in the National Honor Society collected over 280 cans of soup and other nonperishable food for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch, which was delivered Feb. 6.

Chief School Administrator Karen Oblen said Bowls of Hope is all about teaching students to show love and concern for the needy and homeless in their community by taking action.

Participants and sponsors for the event were the Academy of Culinary Arts, B.F. Mazzeo Fruit & Produce, Brick House Pub & Grille, Café 80 West, Carluccio’s Coal Fired Pizza, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Clayton’s Self Storage, The Crab Trap, Eat Clean Organization, Formica Bros. Bakery, Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar, JR’s Fresh Market, La Cucina & La Padella, La PizzaTea, O’Donnell’s Pour House, Philadelphia Mills, Romanelli’s Garden Café, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Sadia’s Tea & Coffee, Sal’s Café, Sofia Restaurant, Steve & Cookie's, Sturdy Savings Bank, Towne & Country Café, Varsity Inn and Windjammer Diner Bar & Grille.

Atlantic Christian held its first Bowls of Hope event in 2013. Proceeds benefited local charities involved in Hurricane Sandy Relief.

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines from Atlantic County delivered to your inbox.