FOA 209: From Commodity Crops to Gourmet Farming with Jason Persall


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Pristine Gourmet was formed in 2005 with the vision of supplying the food industry with quality local non-GMO artisan foods. Jason Persall owns Pristine Gourmet in Waterford, Ontario. He converted his 1000 acre strictly traditional commodity soybean farm to support the three pillars of Pristine Gourmet; heritage, passion and craftsmanship. They produce fresh and unique cooking oils for retail, restaurants and bulk ingredients. The major obstacle faced by Pristine Gourmet was finding shelf space in the supermarkets and somehow making their product stand out. Jason quickly understood that was going to be a perpetual obstacle and so chose to pursue a different strategy. Jason shares that he invested slowly and allowed his business “to grow organically.”

“That was kind of just the beginning of where we are now. Just starting out with chefs and realizing that that is really our focus of where our brand is going to be widely accepted. Chefs just love new products, something that’s local to them, something that has a story, that’s direct from the farm.” - Jason Persall

Chefs and their teams take tours of his farm and engage in the process of developing their products. The bulk ingredient supply side of their business has helped support them during the Covid Pandemic while restaurant need is reduced. They also sell their cooking oils online through their website. Their retail products include cold pressed sunflower and canola oils similar to extra virgin olive oils. The process they use allows for better taste, higher antioxidant levels and an all round better quality product. For food service clients they can also prepare hybrid fryer oils. Each oil has a different purpose in mind. The canola oil is touted as the “queen of oils” with a “very impactful” nice flavor. The soybean oil has a more mild flavor when compared to the canola oil but with additional nutty flavors. It also has the added benefit of an impressive viscosity at room temperature which lends itself to being an excellent garnish. The final oil is a sunflower oil with a light, fresh sunflower taste and has the widest range of use in the kitchen. They also produce a pumpkin seed oil typically used to enhance different flavors.

“That’s kind of the reason why we do the oils that we do is because they’re drastically different from each other and their applications are different….It’s really geared towards the chef.” - Jason Persall

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Meet Jason Perall, owner of Pristine Gourmet
  • Learn about how Jason moved his commodity based farm towards artisan cooking oil production
  • Explore what makes Pristine Gourmet unique and loved by local chefs

Visit to order your cooking oil direct from the farm!

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