One of the year’s great annual food events is fast approaching!  The 24th Annual Battle of Hors D’Ouevres is taking place on April 30th at the Ciociaro Club.  Have you purchased tickets yet? 

Watch and taste as 9 culinary establishments do battle and go head to head to win the coveted title of best Hors D’Ouevres in one of three categories.   This is such a fun, interactive event that lets guests vote on their favourites. Each year the Battle includes a celebrity panel and this year’s no exception.  Sitting on the panel will be Ahron Goldman of the Culinary Guild, Ted Whipp, myself (yay!) and famed NHLer Eddie Mio!

The night kicks off with a wine tasting reception that features 9 of our local award winning wineries including Mastronardi Estates, Aleksander Estates, Black Bear Farms, Colio Estates, Pelee Island, Sprucewood Shores and Colchester Ridge Estates.   Plus celebrity judge Eddie Mio will also be showcasing his own winery, No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates, which he co-owns with Wayne Gretzky.

After our wine tasting reception, the battle begins!  Local restaurants such as Per Bacco and Oishii will battle it out in the restaurant category.  One of my favourites is the competition between the high schools.  This year Assumption, Century and Holy Names High School will be participating.  It is always amazing to see what these talented and creative kids are learning.  Plus I just love that kids are learning culinary skills in school!

Each entry is paired with a wine and we all get to taste, judge and critique. Based on taste, creativity/originality, presentation and use of ingredients, we then give each entry a score out of 100.  

Big Brothers Big Sisters is such an important organization in our community that supports youth, families and adult volunteers in mentoring relationships.   They currently provide 175 boys and girls with one on one matches and 89 kids with group programmes, but there is an additional 86 children on a waiting list.  These relationships between a Big Brother or Big Sister and a child are so important.  They provide an adult role model for kids that might not have that in their lives.  But it’s so much more than that.  It’s also about developing friendships, connections and developing positive adult relationships. 

So think about coming out to the Battle and supporting a great cause!

Tickets are $100 per person all proceeds stay right here in Essex County and go towards the great work that Big Brothers and Big Sisters is doing in our community.   If you have a group of people interested you can reserve a table of 10 for only $900.  You can even have your company sponsor a table.  There are so many ways to take part in this great annual event.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets or how to become a Big Brother or Big Sister!