It has been a crazy and fantastic year in the Windsor-Essex culinary scene with some great new beginnings and some sad endings. We’ve tried to summarize all the highlights that came along in 2013:
WindsorEats Showcases St. Clair Culinary Program For Winter Bites Restaurant Week
WindsorEats hosted yet another successful Winter Bites Restaurant Week, showcasing several of the regions great independent restaurants with prix fixe menus at great prices.
In 2013, we partnered with St. Clair College to showcase their culinary program and the menus that graduates and current students from the program who were in the kitchens of participating restaurant week venues.
During Winter Bites, we also announced that we would be hosting Windsor’s very first Windsor Craft Beer Festival in 2013.
Hummazing Auditions for Dragon’s Den
Fadi Dandachi of Hummazing went to the Dragon’s Den audition with the mindset he had nothing to lose.
Within 2 weeks following the audition, Fadi and his business partner Rami were contacted and told they were going to be facing the Dragons in April. They’ve been working with a producer to develop a pitch to the Dragons that is both good for a television audience as well as gets their business message across.
Walkermole No Mas! The Willistead Takes Shape
Short lived Mexican restaurant, Walkermole, officially closes and begins its transition to The Willistead Restaurant, with WindsorEats documenting the entire transformation.
Awards Roll In For Essex Pelee Island Coast Wineries
2013 was a great year for our region’s wineries, bringing in an impressive haul of 21 medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Finger Lakes, New York.
Road Chef Hits The Streets
Road Chef becomes first mobile kitchen caterer to join WindsorEats, starting off on a high note serving festival goers at the popular Bayfest festival.
Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard Brings Home More Awards
Not only were Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard the only local winery to bring home a 2013 Ontario Wine Award, they won two!
The winery brought home a Gold: Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve as well as a silver for their 2011 Rosé.
Salute Espresso Bar Introduces Windsor’s First Ever Bottled Cold Brew Coffee
The Cold Brew Iced Coffee at Salute Espresso Bar is brewed by a cold brew method which takes 12 to 18 hours, producing a sweet and smooth finish.
Good Month For Dining in Downtown Windsor
May was a good month for dining in downtown Windsor, as we saw the opening of two great restaurants: Green Bean’s second location and El Patron Taqeatery.
WindsorEats Raises Money To Fight Leukemia
As has become tradition, WindsorEats uses our very first Bikes & Beers Cycling Tour each year to raise money for Returns for Leukemia and this year we’re very proud to announce this past weekend we raised $1200!
WindsorEats Starts Discussion On Food Trucks Within Windsor-Essex
Despite municipal by-laws restricting them from operating in a traditional sense, food trucks are slowly starting to arrive on the Windsor-Essex culinary scene.
Sweet T’s Closes Their Doors
In what was a bittersweet moment, Sweet T’s closed their doors to focus on re-opening the restaurant as a new concept.
WindsorEats Begins Showcasing Members on CTV Windsor
We were proud to start a partnership with CTV Windsor where each week, WindsorEats would bring in a member restaurant to cook live alongside Arms Bumanlag and showcase the culinary scene in Windsor-Essex. After each segment, the recipe would then be posted on our website.
Another Edition of Eat Your City Restaurant Week
Another successful edition of our summer restaurant week, Eat Your City, took place in August.
Motor Burger Brings Back Deja Blue Beer
In 2012, WindsorEats organized a farm tour with Motor Burger to introduce local restaurateurs, Gino Gesuale and Jay Souilliere, to various producers in the area and open the door to the possibilities of using locally grown products within their establishment. The result was Deja Blue: a blueberry lavender beer with products from Klassen Blueberries and Serenity Lavender Farm. It was so popular Motor Burger brought it back for the summer of 2013.
Two Popular Restaurants Open their Doors
The name is enough to draw you in and the food is enough to make you come back. Honey Badger Bistro opened their doors on Windsor’s east side. On Ottawa street, a familiar name made a comeback as Mamo Burger Bar replaced Sweet T’s.
Colio Estate Winery Kicks Off Lake Erie North Shore Grape Harvest
Colio Estate Wines officially kicked off the regions harvest season on September 6 with its Pinot Noir, which is used in the winery’s Sparkling wines.
Smoke & Spice Celebrates 5 Years
A landmark moment in the restaurant industry, Smoke & Spice celebrated their 5th birthday.
Local Restaurants Featured on Food Network Canada
Two popular Windsor restaurants were featured on the Food Network Canada’s show, ‘You Gotta Eat Here!’. Smoke & Spice showed off their Smoked Bologna sandwich while Motor Burger impressed with their Deep Fried Pickles. Shameless plug alert: our very own Adriano Ciotoli was featured in the Motor Burger episode.
Inaugural Windsor Craft Beer Festival Takes Place
In one of the most anticipated food and drink events in years, the very first Windsor Craft Beer Festival took place attracting over 3,000 thirsty festival goers to sample breweries from across Ontario and Quebec. We can’t wait for the 2014 edition!
WindsorEats Named Ontario Culinary Tourism Leaders
The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance announced the winner for the 2013 Culinary Tourism Leadership Awards at the Ontario Tourism Summit presenting the award to WindsorEats for their efforts and commitment to culinary tourism in the province.
Local Cookbook Launches
Rino Bortolin’s cookbook, “Rino’s Kitchen: Cooking Local in Windsor and Essex County” is unveiled.
Motor Burger Collaborates with Whipsaw Coffee Roasters on New Beer
Motor Craft Ales and Whipsaw Coffee Roasters have collaborated on the new “Whiplash” British Coffee Porter, now available at the popular burger restaurant. Motor Burger now carries 12 beers on tap which are brewed on site.
Whipsaw Coffee Roasters Receive International Recognition
Whipsaw Coffee has been in business for less than a year, but in that short time they’ve managed to impress several coffee connoisseurs.
Earlier this year Whipsaw’s Rosewood Espresso Blend placed in the top 16 in America’s Best Espresso Competition in Chicago and now their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee received a 93 point rating from The Coffee Review (a leading coffee buying guide).
Ontario Announces VQA Wines to be Sold At Farmer’s Markets
WindsorEats was proud to be the first organization in Windsor-Essex to announce that the Province of Ontario will be allowing Ontario VQA wines to be sold at local farmer’s markets.
Feel there’s something we left out? Be sure to share with your friends and leave your highlights in the comments below!