Food & Drink Participants Announced For 2016 Battle Of The Hors D’oevures 30th Birthday Bash

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the area’s most highly anticipated food and networking event, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex (BBBSWE) Foundation’s Battle of The Hors D’oeuvres. Hayley Morgan, BBBSWE Foundation Executive Director, officially announced this year’s participants at a kick-off event held at Walkerville Brewery on Wednesday, May 6, 2016.

Hayley Morgan announces details of 2016 Battle of the Hors D'oeuvresThis year’s event will feature 20 of Windsor’s finest food & beverage establishments, and will be held at Caesars Windsor in the Augustus Ballroom on May 26, 2016. Windsor Essex County’s finest food & beverage establishments will offer their savoury culinary creations, wines, whiskey and craft beer as guests mix and mingle around the room.

Guest will have the opportunity to become a food critic for the night and vote for their favourite hors d’oeuvre. The competitors will be placed in either the restaurant or hospitality/catering category. A People’s Choice Award will be awarded overall for first and second place.

In addition, a celebrety panel of judges will vote on who receives the Critic’s Choice Award in each division.

Former Battle of the Hors D'oeuvre winner Marco Maliza of Marco's Pizzeria with judge Pina Ciotoli of Windsor Eats.Last year’s Critic’s Choice Award Judges will all return and include Ted Whipp, Chef John Kukucka from Essex Golf & Country Club, Chef Daniele Palanca from Ambassador Golf Club, and Pina Ciotoli from Windsor Eats.

In 2015, at the 29th Annual Battle of The Hors D’oeuvres, the culinary team from Parkside Grille at Rocherster Place Golf Club and Resort competed in the hospitality division. They emerged victorious with first place Hospitality Critic’s Choice award for the second straight year. Parkside Grill will return to defend their title at this year’s Battle of The Hors D’oeuvres 30th Birthday Bash.

Last year’s Critics Choice Restaurant Award winner, The Willistead Restaurant, will not be returning because of prior commitments on the event day. With no one to defend it, the award is now up for grabs.

Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering and Food TruckPeoples Choice First Place 2015 Award winner Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering and Food Truck returns and is determined to take at least, if not both, first place awards in the restaurant and people’s choice categories. However, Smashed Apple’s Chef Bill Deslippe better watch out for Chef John Alverez. In 2015, Alverez took home the People’s Choice Second Place award while with Sushi Guru.

Sushi Guru will not be returning but their former chef, Alverez (along with his new partner Tom Scully) will return representing Walkerville’s newest restaurant F & B Walkerville.

The competition will be fierce with competitors from previous years including Caesars Windsor, Thai Palace, Just Jeff’s Gourmet Express and Thyme To-Go.

F&B Walkerville restaurant owners Chef John Alverez and Tom Scully.In addition, Marco’s Pizzeria may be a new restaurant in the line up but Chef Marco Maliza is a force to be reckoned with. Malizia participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex’s Battle of The Hors D’oeuvres heading the team for CIBPA in 2012 and Armando’s in 2013 and 2014.

Awards captured by Malizia during Battle of The Hors D’oeuvres include: 2nd People’s Choice Award Overall 2014, 1st Critic’s Choice Restaurant Division 2014, 1st People’s Choice Award Restaurant Division 2013, and 1st People’s Choice Award Overall 2012. In March of 2014 Malizia, representing Armando’s, competed at the 30th annual International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas and placed 4th worldwide in the Italian division. Now representing his new restaurant Maliza plans to mezmorize food lovers at the event and add another Battle award to his resume.

Marco Maliza holds up Battle of the Hors D'oeuvres Award.The remaining impressive line up of new comers won’t make it easy for Maliza. They include Budokan PanAsian Bistro, the University of Windsor culinary team and Enzo’s Trattoria.

Guests attending the event will be the big winners as they get to indulge in a wide selection of culinary creations that they can vote on. This includes the popular pre-event featuring delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by Assumption College Catholic high school students. Their culinary creations, worthy of competing against the main event’s competitors, always delight guests.

Guests will also have the opportunity to sip and sample some of the best wine, whiskey and craft beers from Windsor Essex. Beverage Participants include BREW Microbrewery, Canadian Club Whiskey, Colchester Ridge Estate Winery (CREW), Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Pelee Island Winery, and Walkerville Brewery.

Sweet Revenge Bake Shop will sponsor a dessert table at the event.

In addition, guests will enjoy great entertainment. Arms Bumanlag, a great supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex, will return to Emcee the event. Live music will be performed by local musician Jake Van Dongen (of the Inoke Errati band). Guests will also enjoy bidding on silent auction items and entering fun raffles.

For the last four years the new lounge party format has been a great success. No longer a sit down gala, the Battle has become an after business interactive networking event. An indoor food and drink festival! This event offers an opportunity for guests to schmooze with some of Windsor’s finest food and beverage establishments, while enjoying creative cuisine, drinks, networking, and supporting youth mentoring programs in Windsor and Essex County. This year promises to be even bigger and better with another great evening full of fun, food, drinks and fundraising.

For the third year in a row the event will be held at Caesars Windsor in the Augustus Ballroom featuring a bigger venue to accommodate the popular demand of this event.

Eyes On Windsor is a proud media sponsor of the event.

Also, sponsoring the the Battle of The Hors D’oeuvres 30th Birthday Bash are Caesars Windsor, Dynacare, Kamsel Leasing Inc., Valiant Machine & Tool Inc., Unique Tool and Gage, Windsor Family Credit Union, Cogeco, TD Investment Adviser Jacquie Reaume, Libro Credit Union, Empire Roofing Corporation, AM800, Snapd Windsor, WindsoriteDotCa, and Windsor Eats.

Funds raised through this event help to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex’s 6 Youth Mentoring Programs which provide services to over 750 children in our community with mentoring opportunities that are proven to help kids stay in school, avoid risky behavior such as bullying, and grow up to be more civic‐minded adults. Changing the course of these young lives can in turn change our community’s future!

Tickets are $85 each (group tickets available). For more information or to purchase tickets contact Hayley Morgan at (519) 945-6232 ext.13 or Email: or visit:

Tickets also available online through Snapd Windsor.