Grains take centre stage at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

autumn chicken soup

On November 3rd, Grain Farmers of Ontario Resident Chef Jonathan Goodyear took to the stage at the new Growing Connections exhibit and showed an attentive audience how to make delicious recipes with grains.

Chef Jonathan is honored to be the Resident Chef of Grain Farmers of Ontario and enjoys preparing unique recipes featuring Ontario corn, soybeans and wheat.

‚ÄúKnowing where your food comes from is so important,‚ÄĚ says Chef Jonathan. ‚ÄúAs a chef, I owe everything to the farmers that grow the food I prepare every day and allow me to live out my passion for cooking.‚ÄĚ

Chef Jonathan prepared three recipes at the Kitchen Stage at Grain Farmers of Ontario’s new booth throughout the day, including Avery Island Salad, Pulled Autumn Chicken Soup with Plump Ontario Grains and Vegetables, and Gluten Free Adobo and Maple Bacon Stuffed Cornbread.

He was also a guest judge for the finale of the Royal Chef Challenge, where chefs went head-to-head to create tasty dishes using a secret ingredient revealed on stage. This year the secret ingredient was tofu, which was revealed to Chef Justin Downes, Executive Chef at Vineland Estates Winery and Chef Bryan Simmons of Chatterpaul’s just before the semi-finals began.

Both chefs prepared a variety of dishes to be judged by Chef Jonathan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan, and food writer Mary Luz Mejia. After careful tasting and deliberation, Chef Jonathan and the other judges declared Chef Justin Downes the semi-final winner, who went on to finish second overall at the finale held on November 10.

Chef Jonathan‚Äôs custom grain recipes created for Grain Farmers of Ontario were available at the Growing Connections exhibit during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Find them under the ‚ÄėRecipes‚Äô tab on the Good in Every Grain website.¬†

A Royal Introduction

Model plants in the Growing Connections trailer on Canada Day

The Grain Discovery Zone from the Grain Farmers of Ontario has made its way across the province this year to many fairs and tradeshows with the goal of educating people about Ontario grains. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the biggest and last stop for the Discovery Zone and is the perfect place to launch our biggest interactive exhibit yet.

This year, the Grain Farmers of Ontario is set to unveil ‚ÄúGrowing Connections‚ÄĚ, a 53‚Äô trailer featuring four fold-out stages. The Kitchen stage features appearances by Resident Chef Jonathan Goodyear and the Crop stage has faux corn, soybean, and wheat plots. A fully enclosed theatre for farming videos and a video gaming stage with interactive, high-tech grain games round out the sustainable grain farming themed exhibit.

This 1200 square foot family-friendly exhibit can be seen for the first time at the Grain Farmers of Ontario exhibit at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair from November 1-10. From field to fork to fuel, there’s something for everyone at the Growing Connections display, and we’d love for you to check it out!

The Grain Discovery Zone display can be found in Ag-Tivity Central. Other great interactive displays for the whole family at the Royal include the aMAZEing food journey, Royal Education Centres, and the President’s Choice Animal Theatre.

For more details on the new Grain Farmers of Ontario exhibit, visit For more information on the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, visit

Back to school snacks with grains

Adobo and maple bacon stuffed cornbread

Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Resident Chef Jonathan Goodyear brought ideas for tasty grain-based after school treats to Hamilton’s CHCH TV’s Morning Live viewers yesterday. Chef Jonathan used Ontario dent corn and soy oil to add a delicious twist to mini cornbread muffins and tostadas with avocado dip. Chef Jonathan also told viewers that corn syrup, made from dent corn, is a natural sweeter and great alternative to sugar. Keep an eye out for more of Chef Jonathan’s grain creations that we’ll post throughout the year.

Fast farm fact: Did you know? Only 2 per cent of Ontario corn is actually sweet corn, which we eat as corn on the cob. Most of the corn stalks you see in Ontario’s countryside are actually dent corn, which is used for products like corn starch, corn flakes and corn meal.

Want to see Jonathan whip up these recipes? Watch his segment here.

Keep reading below for the recipes featured in this segment, Gluten Free Adobo and Maple Bacon Stuffed Cornbread and Whipped Avocado and Cilantro Puree with Roasted Corn Tostadas, both great and easy recipes for back to school!

Introducing: Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Resident Chef, Jonathan Goodyear

On the heels of a busy growing season, Grain Farmers of Ontario launches a partnership with Top Chef Canada Finalist, Jonathan Goodyear who will represent the province’s corn, soybean and wheat producers in his new role as Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Resident Chef.

Over the summer, Jonathan became even more familiar with grains, both in the kitchen and on the farm. Born and raised in Ontario, Jonathan has a true appreciation for using home-grown ingredients and supporting our local farmers. Communications Coordinator, Mackenna Roth took Jonathan to Hollinger Farms of Manilla, ON,District 11, to meet young farmer and Grains in Action graduate, Matt Hollinger and learn about the industry firsthand. More than just heavy equipment and corn fields, Jonathan was very interested in the farm story‚ÄĒthe passion, innovation, science and technology Ontario‚Äôs 28,000 grain farmers, like Matt and his family are using to produce quality crops for the province and beyond.

Over the next eight months, Chef Jonathan will be sharing original grain dishes through television segments and at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, demonstrating simple, yet delicious recipes for every occasion. With Chef Jonathan on the team, Grain Farmers of Ontario hope to inspire Ontarians to incorporate corn, soybeans or wheat in their next meal.

Jonathan is thrilled to be working with the Grain Farmers of Ontario as their first Resident Chef, getting the chance to develop original and creative recipes while helping connect consumers to the people behind grains.

He explained to Mackenna at the farm that he has always had an enormous amount of respect for farmers, ‚ÄúWithout Ontario Farmers, I couldn‚Äôt do what I love.‚ÄĚ For these reasons and more, we‚Äôre confident this relationship will usher in a new understanding of the industry and how to easily incorporate grains into everyday meals.

A huge thanks goes out to Matt Hollinger for sharing his story and hosting Jonathan and Grain Farmers of Ontario at his farm!

Tune into Hamilton’s CHCH Morning Live on Wednesday, September 4th at 9:15 a.m. to see how to use grains to create simple, after school snacks.

Learn more about Jonathan below and check back for recipes throughout the year.

A bit about Jonathan

For Jonathan Goodyear, a love of all things culinary started early. Jonathan’s first job in the kitchen was as his mother’s assistant, lending a hand wherever she allowed. It was on a European adventure that Jonathan realized cooking was his true passion and after attending George Brown College for the culinary arts, his career in the industry catapulted.

Jonathan BWBorn and raised in Ontario, Jonathan has worked across North America and Europe, his title ranging from commis, tournaut private chef and executive sous chef. In 2013 Jonathan took on the challenge of competing on Top Chef Canada where he learned the value of good healthy competition making it all the way to the grand finale. Presently, Jonathan is the Executive Chef at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club where he oversees an extraordinary team, and seven exemplary restaurants in the Toronto area.

Throughout his food journey, Jonathan has always respected and admired the farmers that produce the food behind his culinary masterpieces. This year, Jonathan is excited to demonstrate the farm to fork journey as Resident Chef for Grain Farmers of Ontario, which represents 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat growers across the province. While it’s sure to be a busy year for Jonathan, he is looking forward to the great adventure ahead.

Jonathan lives and works in Toronto with his family.

Stay tuned for Jonathan’s tasty recipes and connected with him on Twitter @j__goodyear