Smashed Apple

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

 

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.”

Battle of the Growers to showcase county gems

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The county is coming together to put on the first annual Battle of the Growers event, geared towards showcasing local chefs, foods and wines in an effort to raise money for Leamington’s On Track for Success Program.

“We’ve had a relationship with the local wineries for a number of years, they support us in a variety of ways, so when our committee reached out it really wasn’t a difficult request and they were really happy to support us,” explained United Way CEO Lorraine Goddard. “Then we went to local restaurants and asked if they would be willing to donate their time to make a dish utilizing local wine and food, and honestly we have such a generous community … Everything that we are going to be presenting is all local. The local produce, the local wines, the local chefs, local talent … We’re really proud of that, that we can really highlight the county. And as a county resident, I live in Kingsville, I know how fabulous and how blessed we are to have access to all of those great things.”

The money raised at the June 16th event to will go towards the On Track for Success program, which is focused on increasing high school graduation rates and attendance at post-secondary, whether it’s college or university, or the trades, for young people who have fallen behind in school and are at risk of not graduating. The program is beginning it’s third year, and some of the students that are in the program will be attending and helping serve the food at the event.

“We have a number students who actually moved to the academic track from the general track, which means they are in line to actually be able to go to university, and these are young people who just never thought it was even possible for them to even consider going to college or university,” said Goddard. “Many of them will be the first people in their family to actually ever attend a post-secondary institution and they’re going to come back to the community and they’re going to contribute back to their neighborhoods and help build a stronger, thriving community for everyone.”

Battle of the GrowersWEB

United Way has brought together a number of local chefs, wineries and growers to support the event, and paired them together to create something uniquely special. Smashed Apple owner and chef, Bill Deslippe is excited not only to battle against county chefs, but also to spend some time with students from the On Track for Success program.

“I’ve competed the last three years in a row against the Windsor chefs and won all three events. I’m not really sure what I’m up against, but you never really know,” said Deslippe. “I’m excited for a good time, to mentor some students and to share whatever knowledge I can with young minds who are looking to become chefs. I’m also excited to be able to showcase something that grows locally here and give it some justice, and also to work with Sprucewood, a winery that I work closely with a lot. It’s fun, it’s for charity, it’s a good cause and it’s always good to get out there and meet potentially new customers and friends alike.”

Goddard explained their committee, which is affiliated with local growers, wineries and restaurants, has been working on the event for over a year. She said these kinds of events, particularly new ones, are incredibly involved. Coming up with a concept, bringing partners on board, and getting vendors organized, all while making sure it’s done right to ensure success is important. She said Pelee Island Winery, who is hosting the event, and Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard have been “instrumental” in helping United Way plan the event.

“We not only get to showcase our wines and amazing foods but also Pure Flavor Vegetables and the best part is helping out the United Way,” said Mike O’Brien, Outside Sales at Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards. “The main goal is to help the United Way in their fundraisings. But also to show people the amazing wines, food and local produce that is right in our backyard. Not only are we providing the wine we are also showcasing our Chef and The Vine’s Restaurant. So we are paired with Pure Flavor Growers, in which we will prepare a dish with local vegetables paired with our award winning wines.”

The event is nearly sold out. Goddard said Pelee Island Winery’s new event room can hold up to 250 people. For their first event, she said they are incredibly excited about how successful it’s been so far and she’s looking forward to it.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit weareunited.com