Recipe to Riches Recap and Taste Test: episode 2, Jammin’ Jamaican Lobster Bisque
Winning Dish: Afghanistan vet Winslow Taylor’s Jammin’ Jamaican Lobster Bisque
Runner-Up Dishes: Melissa Gilbert’s Great Canadian Turkey Dinner and Marjan Mogharrabi’s Persian Turkey Kebabs.
This week’s audition round made one thing very clear: the Cronut epidemic has crossed into the Ontarian countryside and brutally devastated rural Canadian cookery. (Taco pizza didn’t sound too bad, but that old guy’s maple-trout-waffle concoction was wretch-inducing even in concept.) The three chosen contestants didn’t rely on hybrid gimmickry, but they did have problems of their own—especially Marjan, whose spiced turkey kebabs, while apparently delicious, unfortunately resembled baby poo. We’re guessing that’s why she was the first to go.
The marketing showdown between Melissa and Winslow might have been a close call if the set-up hadn’t been pretty unfairly skewed. Big shocker: people attending a Caribbean festival—the “neutral” marketing test-venue—were more interested in eating a thematically appropriate Caribbean soup than tucking into a festive turkey dinner. Even Melissa sensed that something wasn’t quite right about the scenario. (“Winslow’s a lucky guy—Caribbean fest, Caribbean food.”) We’re calling for a rematch—perhaps at the Santa Claus Parade?
Expectations were low heading in, as one might expect for a frozen, fishy soup. The bisque’s out-of-the-box impression didn’t do very much to raise them: one taste-tester thought the soup looked sort of lonely, “like a dish made for single people,” while others noted its murky, swampish appearance. Things got more positive once the panel dipped their spoons. Although some found the broth a bit thin and the lobster meat a bit rubbery (the phrase “frozen dinner” came up a few times), most agreed that it actually tasted pretty jammin’—like “liquefied lobster roti,” according to one convert. At the end it came down to the price point: most agreed they’d pay around three bucks for a follow-up bowl. (Its actual sale price is pretty close: $3.99).