1st Annual Fergus Whole Hog BBQ

Today was perfect!  The sun was shining, there was a slight September breeze.  Every breath this glorious afternoon soaked up the beautiful aromas of hickory, mesquite, applewood, buttered corn with a large side of  sustainability.  What a sight to behold, at the 1st Annual Fergus Whole Hog Bar-B-Que for the Wellington Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

I’de been invited by Chris Jess, the Chef instructor at The Food School (FoodSchool.ca) in Fergus, to be a guest judge at the roast. What an honour!  Thank you.

Guests listened to local high school students music, talked to local chefs about how they prepared and cooked their heritage-breed, locally raised Berkshire pigs and sipped on crisp Cider and Local Lager.  For yours truly, the focus was on FLAVOUR, LOCAL STORIES and FOOD SUSTAINABILITY.

Thank you to the organizers Jana Reichert and Kristen Drexler and the Board at the WCSA (Russ Spicer, Bryan Welch, Adrienne McBride, Karen Welch, Anne Thomson).

Fantastic event and amazing community support!


All Chefs and their teams put their heart and soul into this labor intensive cooking method and the 5 very different flavours made judging very difficult to pick just one favourite.

The JUDGES were Anita Stewart (Cookbook Author and U of G Food Laureat), Easton Drexler (Foodie Extraordinaire), Mayor Joanne Ross-Zui (Centre Wellington Mayor), Jennifer Bain (Food Editor for the Star), Zane Caplansky (Owner Caplansky’s Deli, Toronto) and me, Mark Kenny (Procurement Manager at University of Guelph)

Judging was fun, tasty and the results were very close (not unanimous- my mistake).  We judged on Presentation, Flavour, & Overall Experience) – Next year new category? “Best Cracklin”…



This local butcher shop, made a Porchetta stuffed with sausage, onion, wild leeks, apples, and spit roasted for 7.5 hours and kept warm to serve on Swedish Torches.  The torches very much stole the show and kept us all enrobed in flavour.  Their Cracklin’ was exceptional!  Also of note is that they used the Food School’s barbecue which the shop students build for Chris, with the help of design by the shop teacher.  What a great collaboration!

IMG_8243 IMG_8207  IMG_8176 IMG_8209 

BEN SASCHE (Cork Restaurant) prepared a beautiful pear and crab apple chutney to accompany his dish and also impressive was the handmade smoker he used, made by a local hardware store employee.  The crab apples in the chutney came from a tree just steps away from his smoker.  Talk about a 100 Foot diet!

IMG_8178 IMG_8180

LIZ NOWATSCHIN’S pork was the Kickin’ it Up a Notch flavour today!  Scotch Bonnet peppers, all spice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger rounded out a beautiful Jerk style animal.  Her handmade cinder block BBQ was very inventive and worked extremely well and produced a fantastic Cracklin’.

IMG_8188 IMG_8215

DEREK ROBERTS and Fraberts Team went Cuban style with Moho Criollo marinade with orange and pineapple and rubbed down with Adobo dry rub!  4.5 hours later and a flip in the box for another hour produced a wonderful and unique sensation.

IMG_8213 IMG_8192

JEFF CRUMP used my all time favourite Mesquite and Applewood to produce a beautiful smokey Carolina style meal – sauced just right and a the wood really imparted a rich velvet flavour to the meat.




Also a mention to the wonderful folks at Woolwich Dairy for their tasty goat cheese and Sriracha appetizers!  Always a local favourite.


And keeping us hydrated, Neustadt Brewery and Pommies Dry Cider.

IMG_8190 IMG_8191

Just incase you didn’t get enough PIGGY PHOTOS, enjoy the rest of our experience today!  CHEERS!


IMG_8195 IMG_8247 IMG_8223 IMG_8221 IMG_8219 IMG_8210 IMG_8200 IMG_8199 IMG_8198  IMG_8189 IMG_8186















Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s