Scenes From Dinner: Santé: A Toast To Your Health 2015

Each year, the Windsor/Essex Hospitals Foundation holds an incredible event called Santé: A Toast To Your Health. The 2015 event was held Thursday, May 14 at the Ciociaro Club of Windsor. Santé, which means cheers, or health, is the perfect name for an event which was outstanding, providing a casual vibe and welcoming evening to over 500 attendees. Individuals from the Windsor-Essex community, enjoyed walking through the hall, sampling mouth-watering local food and sipping on flavourful wines. There was also a 50/50 draw and silent auction.

Local food served at Sante 2015.Purchasing tickets supports the many services that The Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) offers. The funds raised from this event will help operating rooms at the Ouellette and Met Campuses of WRH as well as equipment to provide outstanding care to the residents of Windsor-Essex and maintain a high standard of patient care, providing patients with the very best.

Ron Foster, Vice President, of the Executive Committee for the WRH, Public Affairs, Communication and Philanthropy says he has been doing this event for years. “What makes this event spectacular is that it works closely with the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) Wine Growers Association, which is a collection of several wineries in the Lake Erie North Shore/Pelee Island region of Essex County,” he explains. “Not only do we have wineries and dining establishments here, we have a specialty coffee and dessert to taste as well.”

The evening featured a relaxed atmosphere where people could walk around, sampling food and wine. There were 4 large tables throughout the event, displaying an assortment of appetizers from Galati Cheese Company, Koolini, Other Place Catering, Piccolo’s Pizza and Pasta House, Capri Pizzeria, Oskars Specialty Catering and Italia Bakery. The tables displayed a variety of choices from cheeses, meats, dips, and olives to a variety of fresh delicious breads such as flatbreads, focaccia and ciabatta.

One of the favourite food tables of the night was the spectacular creations provided by Piccolo’s Pizza and Pasta House. Piccolo’s really catches the eye with its absolutely delightful assortment and colourful spread. “What’s so great about Piccolo’s is that it draws you in with the variety of choices and its creative presentation. You usually eat with your eyes first,” says Shelly Campell who has been with Piccolos since 2008. Piccolos is involved a great deal within the community, catering to a number of different events, the last one being the annual Transition to Betterness gala. This is the second year they have participated in this event she explains. “This is stuff we love to do. It’s all handmade, fun creations and people are always devouring the food. ” Shelly says that the grape truffles are the most popular as well as the mini Greek salads. Both were present and enjoyed at the event. “The grape truffles are a blue cheese and nut medley that bombs in your mouth,” she says describing the truffles. “It really is fantastic. We put so much time and effort into all events. We really enjoy giving back to the community.”

Each of the local wines did not disappoint, displaying unique flavors and styles from each of the wineries. Participating wineries this year were:

Muscedere WinesCrew / Cholchester Ridge Estate Winery
Colio Estate Wines
Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards
Muscedere Vineyards
Oxley Estate Winery
Pelee Island Winery
Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery
Viewpointe Estate Winery

Ashley from Pelee Island Winery says that the Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are the best sellers this year and that there is many upcoming events to go to at Pelee. “Pelee is the biggest estate winery in Ontario and has been around for 32 years. There are a lot of great events to check out this year here. ” Melissa Muscedere from Muscedere Vineyards says that this is the second year that they have participated in this event. She says that the Rose is very popular in the summer due to its light, fresh taste. Most of the wineries were very excited to discuss the upcoming event, Sip Into Summer which is taking place on May 23 and 24. This is a self-guided tour where each winery will be highlighting new wine paired with local food choices.

People were really enjoying the evening. Frank Palombo, a visitor to the event says that he has come to this event in previous years. “It’s all local, so it’s great” he says. Patricia Crichton, the lovely wife of CTV’s Jim Crichton, is a volunteer for the hospital helping out with numerous events, such as registration for the Santé event and a golf tournament. She explains she recently retired in June and has such a wonderful time volunteering. She most importantly, goes to each of the patients on the hospital floors, talks with them and provides them with a survey asking how they are enjoying the food in the hospital. “I get a great response when I go out and visit with each of the patients. Some are even surprised that we even do this. You get to meet a lot of great people within the community.”

For Art's Sake at SanteBottle Art and For Art’s Sake were two new vendors this year as well. For Art’s Sake, a newer wine and paint night, is taught by Sarah Trudell and her mother. The display featured different paintings that can be completed during a canvas paining three hour class held at a variety of different local wineries. Girl’s Night, Vino Class, Spring Wine class and Fruit De La Vinge are just some of the fantastic classes they offer. To view the upcoming paint nights visit ForArtsSakeAndWine.com

Other fantastic booths included Sweet Revenge Bake Shop featuring an assortment of pastries such as cookies, cakes and cupcakes. Another booth featured Coffee & Cream speciality, portable coffee bar, offering a choice of espresso or cappuccinos. Coffee & Cream has been in business for 15 years serving a variety of coffees with many different flavours.