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A chef breaks down J.R. Smith’s alleged soup throwing

Grasping the severity of this steaming situation

Fridays are normally reserved for thanking God, overpriced happy hours and political news dumps, but the NBA, which has taken over our summers and first weeks of February with franchise-shifting transaction news, would not let this be a normal Friday.

On Thursday it was announced that Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith had been suspended for the team’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers that night for “detrimental conduct,” with most fans assuming it was Henny-related. But lo and behold, on Friday morning renowned ESPN journalists Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin reported that Smith was in fact suspended for throwing soup at assistant coach Damon Jones.

This development set social media ablaze, with most users asking: What kind of soup was it? What did Jones do to get covered in Campbell’s? Was the soup scalding hot or lukewarm? What was Smith doing eating soup after shootaround anyway?

With most of these questions yet to be answered, we reached out to soup expert Angela Davis (known as @TheKitchenista on Twitter), a private chef in Northern Virginia who taught herself how to cook six years ago. Davis helped us grasp the severity of this steaming situation.


What were your first thoughts when you heard about the soup throwing?

I can’t lie, I laughed. It’s something a little kid would do.

How hot is an average soup?

Most soups would be served at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

What’s the best/most offensive soup to throw at a boss or someone you don’t like?

Something thick that would cling to everything it touched, like split pea soup or clam chowder. Bonus if that person actually hates it, because they’re going to smell that soup for days.

What’s the worst?

Anything light, like chicken noodle. The broth will splash them, but all the veggies are just going to bounce off. Little bit of a waste.

What would be the most insulting container that holds soup to throw at someone: bowl, bread bowl, cup, can, ladle?

I mean the bowl would obviously hurt most, but there’s something funnier and a little tragic about throwing a trashy can of soup at somebody.

What’s the best technique to use to throw soup at someone: underhand, overhand, discus, side arm, other?

Two hands holding on to the bowl, then an underhand toss towards the target, like a kid. It’s not the angriest throw, but I think it would be more effective than flinging soup sideways, which wouldn’t really splash as far.

Are you personally offended, as a chef, by someone wasting food?

I’d mostly be offended if I cooked it, because how good was that soup if it was thrown before eating it?

Have you ever had soup in Cleveland? What type of soup would describe Cleveland, Ohio?

Never been. I had to look this one up. Tomatoes are the Ohio state fruit, so maybe a creamy tomato soup. That could be an interesting one, with the stain factor.

How long would it take to clean up spilled soup on carpet?

Depends how chunky and what kind of color the soup was. If it was seafood, might be easier to throw the whole carpet away.

Have you ever thrown food at someone?

No. I have a toddler though, definitely have had food thrown at me. Not soup that I can remember, but definitely things like cereal and fish sticks.

What’s the best soup to eat?

Whatever makes you feel good. My favorite soup is Portuguese kale soup with linguiça sausage, because it reminds me of my childhood. Just had some today for lunch. In the summer, my favorite soup is gazpacho, so refreshing.

Martenzie is a senior researcher for The Undefeated. His favorite cinematic moment is when Django said "Y'all want to see somethin?"