Bill Deslippe

Local produce is key to live cooking demonstration

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

A live cooking demonstration was held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery this past weekend.

Chef Billy Deslippe of Smashed Apple Trade Company performed a live, interactive cooking show for nearly 100 people. The award-winning chef created a four-course meal as he shared tips and tricks that can easily be used in anyone’s kitchen.

In addition to the food, guests were also treated to several varieties of wine offered at Sprucewood.

Chef Bill Deslippe of Smashed Apple Trade Co. cooks for a live audience at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

“The purpose behind (Smashed Apple Trade Company) is because a lot of people would ask Chef Bill for tips and tricks they can use in their own home,” said Patricia Acosta, the marketing director for Smashed Apple Trade Company. “They don’t need a chef’s kitchen or major cooking skills.”

According to Acosta, the demo is focussed on local food.

“Every (piece of) produce Chef Bill has today comes from the local area,” said Acosta. “We have such great produce and that’s one of Chef Bill’s secrets. Farm to table is the best.”

Acosta said the live cooking demonstrations are something new to Smashed Apple and also to Windsor-Essex, but they have received an overwhelming wave of support.

“Amherstburg is so supportive,” added Acosta. If we didn’t have this kind of support, we wouldn’t have ventured onto something like this. Everyone is so Amherstburg proud. When they see us do new things for the area they show their support by coming out.

Big things on the horizon for Smashed Apple catering

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Just because Smashed Apple closed its doors to its restaurant doesn’t mean Bill Deslippe and Patricia Acosta haven’t been busy.

In fact, it’s been the opposite.

Smashed Apple, who won the people’s choice and the critic’s choice awards at the recent United Way Battle of the Hors D’Oerves, has been very busy not only with their catering end of the business but with their other company, Smashed Apple Trade Co. The latter oversees their YouTube channel and other special events, including an Oct. 26 Live Chef Demonstration in which Deslippe will be preparing a four-course meal at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery with every member of the audience being allowed to sample it.

Smashed Apple, which includes owner/chef Bill Deslippe (left), did well at the recent Battle of the Hors’ Doerves in Kingsville.   (Special to the RTT)

“A lot of people are still wondering why we closed the restaurant,” said Deslippe. He noted a shortage of staff made it “a daunting effort” to keep it open as well as the catering end of the business.

As of last week, Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering had catered 55 weddings with festivals and events also being on their schedule.

Acosta noted they try and showcase what Windsor-Essex County has to offer and that includes using local products.

“Essex County has an abundance of awesome products,” said Deslippe.

Smashed Apple is also looking to launch products of their own and using their social media channels such as Instagram to promote them. The YouTube channel sees not only cooking videos uploaded to it, but also videos on trips they take. A video company is coming in to help produce a video at the upcoming Life Chef Demonstration.

They are hoping the YouTube Channel, found by searching “Smashed Apple Trade Co. Kitchen,” will help promote their brand globally. More videos are anticipated to be posted in the winter, though Deslippe and Acosta will be busy with holiday parties, events and the food truck.

“We want to funnel people into the YouTube channel,” said Deslippe. “The YouTube channel will push us into bigger markets.”

Smashed Apple Trade Co. is hosting a Live Chef Demo at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery later this month. Chef Bill Deslippe will be preparing a four-course meal as part of the event.

Deslippe has also been hired as the corporate chef with Highline Mushrooms and will be travelling to Orlando, Florida for them in October. He was also in Grand Rapids, Michigan recently for an event as well, with videos anticipated to come from those types of events.

“We’re all on the same page of pushing Windsor-Essex County to the world,” said Acosta.

Deslippe noted he started Smashed Apple Catering in 2013 with three or four festivals and a handful of weddings. Now, they are booming with regular bookings for events.

“The growth has been crazy,” he said. “The response we’ve been getting for the food we put out and the service we provide has been crazy.”

“It’s a very supportive community,” said Acosta.

Smashed Apple also wants to help people eat healthier and come together as a family, Deslippe added.

“It’s all about healthier lifestyles and families being families,” he said.

For more information, the contact information is www.smashedapplecatering.com , Smashed Apple Trade Co. (which is Youtube and Event site is www.smashedapple.net

 

Food truck gets exemption, town to examine bylaw

 

By Ron Giofu

A local food truck operator is getting relief from a licensing bylaw pertaining to refreshment vehicles with the town to further examine that bylaw.

Bill Deslippe, owner of Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering, will be allowed to operate his food truck within 25 metres of other restaurants this year, down from the 200 metres the bylaw states. The town will look at lowering that limit for others, likely on a case-by-case basis, but the full bylaw will come back later this year for review.

Deslippe appeared before town council April 9 asking for relief from the bylaw. He said his intention is to operate his food truck one day per week as the catering end of his business keeps him busy the other days of the week. He is looking for a space, likely on Sandwich St. S., and has had discussions about locating his truck in existing store parking lots.

“We all know 200 metres is pretty far,” he said, referring to the existing bylaw. “I’m just asking for a shorter distance.”

Manager of licensing services Nicole Rubli said a preliminary look at bylaws from other municipalities show anywhere from 25-250 metres as setbacks.

Councillor Jason Lavigne, a former restaurant owner himself, said Smashed Apple is “wildly popular” and that Deslippe is “really well established” within Essex County. Lavigne said that Deslippe has set up shop in places like Toddy Jones Park and he hasn’t heard of one complaint.

Rubli did note she has heard from businesses about food trucks not abiding by setback requirements, however.

Deslippe told council that while he is shutting down his storefront on Sandwich St. S., he will continue catering, operating the food truck and will also launch a YouTube channel to promote the Smashed Apple brand as well as the town. He added that he wants to push local tourism and CAO John Miceli encouraged town council to take a full look at the bylaw so that tourism opportunities could be explored.

Deslippe added that competition is great and drives people to the streets, something Councillor Leo Meloche agreed with.

“Competition is not a bad thing. Competition is a good thing,” said Meloche. “People love options.”

The vote to allow the exemption and to also further study the bylaw passed by a 5-1 recorded vote. Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and councillors Lavigne, Meloche, Rick Fryer and Joan Courtney were in favour while Councillor Diane Pouget was opposed. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was absent.

Pouget said she wants Deslippe to succeed, but she was concerned about other restaurants, particularly if an exemption was passed on short notice.

“The problem is I don’t want to blindside other restaurants,” she said.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce awards feature three Amherstburg finalists

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 28th annual Business Excellence Awards (BEA) in the spring and Amherstburg will be well represented.

Three Amherstburg businesses have been nominated for awards, with the winners to be announced April 18 at Caesars Windsor.

Dan Gemus, owner/broker with the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team was nominated in the Professional of the Year category. Other nominees include naturopathic doctor Meighan Valero and AM800 radio host Lisa Williams.

Tourism & Hospitality Award finalists include Amherstburg’s Smashed Apple Catering Inc. with other nominees including Food & Beverage (F&B) and the Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast.

Wolfhead Distillery was nominated in the New Business of the Year category, along with Exodus Escape Rooms and Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

“I’m so honoured to have been nominated. When I received the news a couple months ago that I had been nominated it seemed a little surreal at the time! Being at the news conference (last Wednesday) and hearing my name announced as a finalist was incredible!” said Gemus. “Being nominated along side Dr. Meighan Valero and an old AM800 co-worker and friend Lisa Williams is very humbling. All the nominees are so deserving. It will make for a fun night in April!”

Sue Manherz, co-owner of Wolfhead Distillery with husband Tom, said they were “quite surprised and honoured” to be nominated.

“We are up against a couple great companies and wish them the best of luck as well,” said Manherz. “We have a great team here at Wolfhead and none of this would be possible without everybody’s hard work and passion for what we have created. With the support of not only local residents but out-of-town people, they have helped put Wolfhead on the map and we are excited to see what the future brings us.  Being nominated for New Business of the Year is very humbling and rewarding and we strive to keep things moving in the right direction!”

Bill Deslippe, owner/chef at Smashed Apple, noted it was their second time being nominated for a Windsor-Essex BEA.

“We are hustling out here for Amherstburg. These are our roots and everything we do is a reflection of our amazing town and the people living here. We are proud to represent and hope to take home the win this year,” said Deslippe. “Having said that, we are in the same category as our friends and fellow talented business owners Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast and F&B Walkerville. We couldn’t have asked for a better compliment than to be placed in the same category as these innovative, talented and skilled business owners. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, being compared to these greats feels like a win already for Smashed Apple, we are doing it right! We are going in proud and humbled for the nomination, but come the night of the awards, we want to take it home!”

Award recipients will be announced during a gourmet dinner and show. Tickets are on sale now at www.windsoressexchamber.org.

Award recipients announced in advance include:

 

Believe Windsor Essex Award

Michael Schlater, CEO, Domino’s Pizza of Canada

 

ATHENA Award

Patricia Soulliere, President & CEO, Soulliere Financial

 

The full list of 2018 BEA Finalists include:

 

Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalists

Radu Bogdanel, President, Fulger Transport Inc.

Ernie Nesbitt, Owner, Jose’s Bar and Grill

Vince Schiller, Owner, Southwestern Manufacturing

 

Professional of the Year Award Finalists

Dan Gemus, Owner/Broker of Record, Dan Gemus Real Estate Team

Dr. Meighan Valero, Naturopathic Doctor, Meighan Valero Naturopathic Professional Corporation

Lisa Williams, Radio Host – AM800 The Morning Drive, Bell Media / AM800

 

Young Professional of the Year Award Finalists

Dr. Maxwell Abraham, Orthodontist, Owner, Abraham Orthodontics

Dr. Abby Jakob, Optometrist/Owner of EYES Optometry, EYES Optometry

Dr. Jackie Vandereerden, Doctor, South Walkerville Medical Centre

 

Small Company of the Year Award Finalists

Anchor Coffee House Inc.

Forest Glade Tecumseh Veterinary Professional Corporation

Sentry Windows & Doors

 

Mid-Size Company of the Year Finalists

Baron Championship Rings

Flexible Industrial Solutions

Kinder Academy

 

Large Company of the Year Finalists

Aphria

Fortis Group

Highbury Canco Corporation

 

Innovation Award Finalists

Inspire HUB Technologies Inc.

K3D Inc.

Ro-Matt International Inc.

 

Tourism & Hospitality Award Finalists

Food & Beverage (F&B)

The Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast

Smashed Apple Catering Inc.

 

New Business of the Year Award Finalists

Exodus Escape Rooms

Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

Wolfhead Distillery Inc.

 

Pillars of our Community Award

Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario

Transition to Betterness

Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society

 

 

United Way presents first-ever “Battle of the Growers”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Teams comprised of wineries, growers and chefs from all around Essex County gathered at Pelee Island Winery Friday night to have fun and to raise a few bucks in the process.

“Battle of the Growers” was presented by United Way and several sponsors, including presenting sponsor Libro Credit Union, with six teams competing. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the “On Track” program that United Way sponsors in Leamington.

Local growers, wineries, chefs as well as students in the On Track program will compete in teams to create a delicious small plate appetizer-sized dish for 250 guests. The evening was designed to bring together members of the Ontario greenhouse industry and vegetable growers in a friendly competition. The hook was that the team has to use a vegetable or fruit supplied by the participating grower.

Bill Deslippe from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering in Amherstburg shows the appetizer he and his team prepared for Battle of the Growers. It ended up being the winning entry. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Highline Growers were also part of the team.

Bill Deslippe from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering in Amherstburg shows the appetizer he and his team prepared for Battle of the Growers. It ended up being the winning entry. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Highline Growers were also part of the team.

“We put together a group of women from the county and said ‘what can we do that would be different’,” explained Danielle Moldovan, relationship manager, major gifts and planned giving with United Way.

Moldovan noted the “bounty of the county” includes many great restaurants, farms and wineries so they worked to create an event for all of them.

“We decided to pair them together,” said Moldovan.

Judges included Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos and Councillor Tony Gaffan, Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, and Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) vice president Lynnette Bain.

The On Track program has Grade 9 and 10 cohorts in Leamington and assists students who have challenges in their lives and may not be able to succeed as well in high school without the program. Students gain support through the program in both their education and their lives with the program helping to place them on the path to prosperity and a better life. Students can also obtain tuition support for post-secondary education.

Jody Goslin of Oxley Estate Winery pours a glass of wine at Battle of the Growers Friday night. There were six teams of chefs, wineries and growers competing.

Jody Goslin of Oxley Estate Winery pours a glass of wine at Battle of the Growers Friday night. There were six teams of chefs, wineries and growers competing.

Karen Brady, interim vice president of marketing and communications with United Way, said students are identified in Grade 8 for possible enrollment into the On Track program. About 15-20 students per year go through the On Track program in Leamington, with an additional program offered in west Windsor. There is a success coach that helps the students along the way, she noted.

The cost to put a student through the program is $6,500 per year.

Lorraine Goddard, CEO at United Way Windsor-Essex County, said those who grow up in economically disadvantaged families face numerous challenges but the program helps students with self-esteem and puts them on a path to success.

United Way held its “Battle of the Growers” Friday night at Pelee Island Winery. Judges fro the event included (from left): Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, Kingsville councillor Tony Gaffan and TWEPI vice president Lynnette Bain.

United Way held its “Battle of the Growers” Friday night at Pelee Island Winery. Judges fro the event included (from left): Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, Kingsville councillor Tony Gaffan and TWEPI vice president Lynnette Bain.

“This event is going to help kids in our community change the odds,” she said, adding they will be able to return to the community after getting an education, get jobs and help build the communities they live in.

The winning team included two Amherstburg businesses – Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering and Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. They teamed with Highline Mushrooms from Kingsville.

Bill Deslippe, chef at Smashed Apple, said they were very busy on the night but was happy to be there.

“It’s all for a good cause,” he said.

Jody Goslin, master taster at Oxley Estate Winery, said they were approached by Pelee Island Winery about helping out United Way and its On Track program.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Goslin. “We’re all in this together.”