We Go Whole Hog – Ontario Pork

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Jason Waschkowski

Jason Waschkowski

The Culinary Pickpocket | Oakville, ON

A childhood surrounded by food inspired Jason to pursue a culinary career. Following stints in kitchens in all corners of the industry – from roadhouses and scratch kitchen, a butchery and even a chip truck to working alongside some of Canada’s top chefs in five-star restaurants – he launched The Culinary Pickpocket, his private chef enterprise. During his downtime, Jason enjoys group activities with his family, axe throwing or playing ping-pong, golf, or squash, but food is always the centrepiece of every event.

“The concept of The Culinary Pickpocket is that we all pickpocket everything we know from other cooks – farmers, retailers, books, your grandma or that street vendor who makes the best sausage you have ever tasted – they are everywhere, and the learning is endless. Everything I create in the kitchen has a story or tasty memory behind it.”

Jason believes that food is an expression on the plate. “Sometimes that can be very casual, like a fresh grilled burger and fries, which can say, ‘Let’s relax and enjoy an easy dinner tonight’. Sometimes it can be artistic, like a dish with beautiful plating, which can say, “I made something very special for you”. And sometimes it can be very nostalgic – an amazing, freshly-baked peach pie that reminds you of that perfect late summer day back when you were 11 years old. Food is a language, and I believe it speaks in so many incredible ways.”

Making food that is both delicious and beautiful to look at fuels Jason’s passion. He thrives on delivering the “wow factor”, encouraging people to try something new, and his enthusiasm is obvious. “I definitely spend time making dishes with different cuts of pork. There are so many different options and the number of recipes is almost endless. Try every cooking method – oven, bbq, smoker, hot and fast or low and slow. Get creative and dazzle your family and friends with some one-of-a-kind local Ontario Pork!”

When it comes to pork, Jason does it, “Low and slow all the way. Candied, smoked delicious pork belly, baby back ribs, shoulder, loin… just give me time and a steady temperature in a smoker, or braising in the oven. Every cut should get all the love it deserves. The flavours are out of this world!

When it comes to ingredients, Jason is a huge believer in local sourcing. “If you’re not taking advantage of your local producers, you are truly missing out. There are so many amazing companies in Ontario that will deliver local Ontario Pork right to your doorstep. Visit your local farm stores – true farm to table. The experience of learning more about what you are cooking is invaluable. Meet the producers, visit local markets and ask questions! Taking advantage of all the talent around you is important for four main reasons:

  1. You are directly supporting everyone in your local community that grows, raises or produces food for you! How cool is that?  
  2. The closer you are to the source, the fresher the product and the better the taste. Every cook knows this is the magic to every dish – making it the very best it can be.
  3. Our pork producers in Ontario are focused on caring for the both the amazing animals and our environment, while providing sustainable and healthy food for all of us!

Recipes from Jason

Slicing into a Ontario pork roast


Meet the people behind the Ontario food supply chain.

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