Blyth's Peter Gusso performs at Road to the Royal in Toronto - Nov. 16, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Last Friday, Blyth chef Peter Gusso was in Toronto plying his trade for over 100 spectators at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
The process began in September, when representatives of the fair hosted a special cooking demonstration with Gusso and chef James Eddington of Exeter at the International Plowing Match in Walton.
The pair cooked for audiences in the match’s Lifestyles Tent, overseen by locals Brenda Dalton and Cheryl Ryan, as part of the “Road to the Royal” which would eventually bring the two Huron County chefs from one of the province’s premier agricultural showcases to another.
In an interview with The Citizen, Gusso said he had a great day at the Toronto fair on Friday and that it was an amazing experience to cook in front of that many people in such a great food city as Toronto.
Both he and Eddington, as part of their demonstrations, had to construct dishes using both eggs and apples. Because of the nature of the fair, the competition was sponsored by the Eggs Farmers of Ontario and Eddington’s apple supplier, so they wanted to test the chefs’ creativity by dictating some of the ingredients.
As a result, Gusso said he made a smoked pork shoulder with an apple cabbage slaw and a spicy avocado mayonnaise. With the exception of pre-smoking the pork at his Blyth restaurant, Gusso made the rest of his dish’s ingredients on-site during the demonstration.
Eddington, Gusso said, prepared an apple and bread pudding with a caramel sauce and brandied whipped cream.
Gusso and Eddington didn’t take part in the Royal’s annual chef competition, but rather their Road to the Royal cooking demonstrations were part of a series in the Royal’s Lifestyles area’s food program. Gusso said that every day in the Lifestyles area there was over eight hours of programming dedicated to food, whether it was from chefs or farmers and producers.
Gusso said he wanted to thank Ryan and Dalton for pairing him and Eddington together and making the Road to the Royal possible. Eddington, Gusso says, is a fellow Huron County chef with whom he’d love to work more if possible.
Gusso is currently hard at work opening his second Part II Bistro location, which is in Goderich on The Square. He was handed the keys to the business on Monday. He plans on closing it for a number of weeks while he works to improve the functionality and design of the location ahead of an opening sometime in December.