2010 has been a great year with many ups and many downs for the Windsor-Essex culinary scene. Here is an overview the past 12 months:
WindsorEats started talking about the Urban Chicken Debate of 2010 back in January. We even wrote an article debunking a myth many people have about urban chickens and avian flu. While it began fairly quiet, this topic erupted in late 2010 just after the municipal elections and will be discussed in council chambers on January 24, 2011. If you’re interested in speaking for, or against, we recommend you register as a delegate.
The gang over at Chanoso’s and Oishii went on a mission to improve their restaurant and it took them to the city of Chicago. This was a five day educational culinary excursion to bring in fresh ideas to the popular downtown Windsor restaurants. It was also an opportunity to work with a highly regarded chef.
WindsorEats held yet another very successful Winter Bites Culinary Week.
WindsorEats held our Valentine’s Day Skate at Lanspeary Park. This free event invited friends, families, lovers and anyone interested to show their love for each other in a free skate. We also had local businesses and artists display and sell their goods on site.
In what was the start of a bad string of restaurant closures in 2010, Social Bean Cafe closed their doors.
March brought us confirmation that the Town of Amherstburg would get a local farmer’s market. This was due in large part to the hard work of WindsorEats members Dan and Nancy Kenney of Trusty Food To You, a local food delivery service.
Another month, another restaurant closure. An interview with Gerry of Creperie Omer sheds some light behind the scenes of running a restaurant and the tough times they are currently facing.
Both Pina and Adriano were really excited to participate in one of the biggest events to hit Windsor-Essex in a long time. The Enviro Expo showcased green technology and concluded with a Q&A with former American president, Bill Clinton.
WindsorEats held our first Tweets, Beats & Eats event which concluded with rave reviews. Held at Motor Burger, a full house ate 3 courses of deliciousness while listening to some great beats and tweeting onto the large screens throughout the restaurant.
We will been hosting another Tweets, Beats & Eats on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 for our Winter Bites Culinary Week.
WindsorEats was very excited with the launch of two businesses that deliver locally farmed foods directly to your door. Both Trusty Food To You and County Connect launched in April, giving Windsor-Essex residents easier access to local food.
May held the launch of our first Wine Trail Ride since we were named the Best Culinary Tourism Experience in 2009. It was another great success!
The Bike Train finally arrived in Windsor-Essex! After over a year of hard work and convincing, the popular Bike Train brought its first group of cyclists to our region. Almost all of the participants had never been to Windsor-Essex before and from the feedback we received, they almost all left raving about the region we call home.
Back in May, WindsorEats allowed it’s visitors to vote for their favourite restaurants and wineries in Windsor-Essex. In July, we announced the winners of the 2010 WindsorEats Awards.
Thanks in part to WindsorEats helping bring the Bike Train to Windsor-Essex, AOL Travel wrote a great article promoting our region.
Our second culinary week of the year, Eat Your City took place at the beginning of August and was well received. In the middle of an economic downturn, participating restaurants were receiving a welcome increase in business for the week.
As part of the Eat Your City Culinary Week, WindsorEats hosted a free outdoor movie screening in Downtown Windsor. Before the film, local businesses participated by hosting events and we even had performers in the streets for children. For weeks prior to the film date, we allowed visitors to our site the opportunity to vote for which movie they wanted shown. The winner: The Princess Bride. Over 400 people, mostly families with children, packed the intersection of Pelissier and Chatham St. W. for a great family night out.
Even with all the excitement, there was still some bad news as much loved downtown Windsor restaurant Biscuits & Gravy closed it’s doors for good.
Also in August, it came to light that even with all the success it was achieving, the City of Windsor had asked the Downtown Windsor Farmer’s Market to think about changing its location. WindsorEats is a firm believer that the current location is ideal, however, the encourage growth a long-term commitment needs to be made by the city.
You may or may not have known this, but, Adriano ran for city council in Windsor this past election. During his campaign, he proposed (and was the only candidate to do so) a detailed Municipal Food Plan, bringing the local food movement to everyone’s attention. The plan was to help nurture a healthy lifestyle and the local economy all in one shot, or as he’d like to say, “feeding two birds with one piece of bread.”
Another big achievement in September was that WindsorEats was selected as a finalist for a National tourism award. The “Deloitte Innovator of the Year” to be exact.
The Downtown Windsor Farmer’s Market celebrated the achievements of local gold medal hero Jamie Adjetey-Nelson, winner of the decathlon at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Remember that National award WindsorEats was nominated for in September? We won it!!! Adriano was flown up to Gatineau, QC, for the awards ceremony where he was shocked to hear WindsorEats announced as the Innovator of the Year for the entire tourism industry in Canada.
To help raise awareness about the lack of quality, healthy food provided to those in need, Adriano participated in the ‘Do The Math Challenge’.
Also, WindsorEats expanded its reach in November with the launch of its Social Media Marketing Plans which are not only for restaurants, but all businesses and organizations. Take advantage of the expertise that helped win WindsorEats a National award.
WindsorEats’ second 30 Days of Local Wine took place this month, encouraging holiday shoppers to purchase all their gifts and dinner wine locally.