Recipe to Riches Recap and Taste Test: episode 3, Grandpa’s Acadian Meat Pie
Category: Savoury Pies
Winning Dish: Alcide Desveaux’s Acadian Meat Pie
Runner-Up Dishes: Don Chow’s Blasphemy Tourtiere, and Sheena Thomas’s The Whole Enchilada Pie
For the first time all season,
party pooper Kitchen Commander Rob Rainford’s last-minute recipe road blocks really threw off the contestants’ batch-up performances. Uber-confident Sheena spent half the challenge weeping into a vat of tomato sauce, and poor Ottawa Don didn’t have a snowball’s chance of weaving his pie top into a tasteful lattice—not when he was busy trying to figure out how to prep an authentic garam masala spice mix from scratch. The snafu left Don particularly flustered, so it didn’t come as a surprise when he was the first to get sent home. Grandpa Alcide, meanwhile, breezed through the challenge—except for a momentary insufficient-pork-juice panic—perhaps because he knew in his heart that he’d already won the most important title: Most Adorable Old Man Alive.
The product launch component was nerve-racking: the mere thought of witnessing shy Grandpa Alcide get brutally rebuffed by disinterested passersby was enough to put any tenderhearted viewer on edge. The big-city marketing sharks must have sensed the same thing, because they more or less exempted the seven-time grandfather from the usual cold-sell exercise. Post–product launch, the customer-survey stats seemed more or less evenly matched, but we got the distinct impression that the judges too were seduced by the sheer force of Grandpa Alcide’s adorableness: he won.
Opinions on this one were unusually mixed: they ranged from downright negative (“tastes like cat food”) to slightly fanatical (“Don’t you dare write a bad word about that old man’s delicious pie”). Most panelists agreed that the pie’s crumbly golden pastry was unusually impressive for freezer-aisle food; in fact, one taste-tester considered scooping out the filling and just eating the rest. Overall, the meal’s simplicity seemed to put some testers off. “It’s like something your mother would make in the war,” one panelist observed, “because she had no other choice.” The dish seemed to be begging for a little something extra, like a squirt or two of ketchup, perhaps. The entire panel was slightly taken aback by the nutritional stats: at 640 calories and 42 grams of fat (including 72 per cent of the daily recommended intake of saturated fat), one sizeable wedge could do more dietary damage than a Big Mac value meal.
If you’d like to try for yourself, Grandpa Alcide’s meat pie will be selling for $9.99 at select Loblaws stores this weekend.