Canada's Battle of the Growers Kicks Off June 21
KINGSVILLE, ONTARIO - The time has come for Essex County growers, chefs, and wineries to return once again to the ring in the third annual Battle of the Growers fundraiser event! While still months away—the event takes place on Friday, June 21, 2019—the United Way Windsor-Essex group is already pulling out all the stops to make this year’s event one for the books.
Chef Bill Deslippe, of Smashed Apple Catering fame, is returning to the event after two years of wins. This year, however, he’s turning in his apron and joining the planning committee to help take the event up a notch. According to a press release, his goal is to secure eight teams to raise the profile and excitement of the fundraiser. So far, the following companies have staked a claim in winning the title:
- Highline Mushrooms
- Lakeside Produce
- NatureFresh™ Farms
- North 42 Degrees
- Allegro Acres
- JC Fresh Farms
Last year, five culinary teams threw their hats into the ring and battled to raise thousands of dollars for youth mentorship program On Track to Success, which supports high-school age, low-income youth in Essex County graduate high school and go on to trade or post-secondary education. The teams competed to create the best tasting small plate appetizer, with our industry’s representative growers making sure local produce was front and center. Last year's winning team nabbed that coveted first place spot with a fried green tomato/pork appetizer.
This year’s event will be held at Pelee Island Winery, one of Canada’s largest estate wineries located in Kingsville, Ontario. 230 guests are expected to be in attendance and will have the chance to enjoy a lovely dining experience with bistro tables, wine pairings, a silent auction, a strawberry/Champaign reception, a coffee and expresso bar, dessert, and live entertainment by crooner Michael Vanhevel.
This event is presented by Libro Credit Union and Mix 96.7 Blackburn Inc. A VIP reception is sponsored by TD Bank. All funds raised will go to the On Track to Success Program in Leamington.
Good luck to this year’s contenders, and may the best grower win!