|SKIPPER’S BLOG: Canadian Lobster Sucks, says Ramsay
I hate reality television, but I love food.
So I often find myself caught in the endless catch 22
of having to endure reality based nonsense (the anger! The bleeped out
swearing! The conflict! The manufactured drama!) just so I can watch food be
prepared on the tube.
One of the shows I find myself watching is Kitchen
Nightmares. The show features famous bully/big mouth Gordon Ramsay going into
struggling restaurants, gagging on the food and berating everyone who works
there — before getting all cuddly and turning into Dr. Phil by fixing
everybody’s personal problems and saving the restaurant! Yay!
We won’t talk about how nearly all the places
eventually close anyway, because that’s not the focus.
I recently saw an episode of the show that focused on
a seafood restaurant in New York City called the Black Pearl. The show was
re-run from a couple of years ago, but please just bear with me.
One of the famous dishes at the restaurant was centred
on Maine lobster (in this case it was a lobster roll), which of course Ramsay
hated when he tasted it blaming it on a lack of seasoning, specifically salt
Ramsay looked into the issue further and discovered —
horror of horrors! — the restaurant owner had been using Canadian lobster.
Ramsay goes on to suggest that Canadian lobster is inferior to Maine lobster,
is always cheaper and that he only uses the inferior Canadian lobster for
making things like lobster ravioli.
Now granted, false adverting is false advertising and
the restaurant owner deserved to be taken to task for that — but to take a dump
all over the quality of Canadian product shows just how you can’t believe
anything you see on television.
The owner of the restaurant suggests the animal is the
same — “It’s homarus americanus isn’t it?” — and that it comes from the same
waters in the northwest Atlantic.
Ramsay remained adamant.
“You’re telling me now a Canadian lobster, half the
price of a Maine lobster, has the same taste and flavour? There’s a big
difference!” he bellowed at the owner (who was admittedly a pompous, petulant
jackass, which helped show producers paint him as the show villain).
can watch the whole exchange HERE)
Naturally this set me off. It was yet another example of how an uninformed
loudmouth can make a flippant statement on television and not only does he get
away with it, but he also does irreparable harm to thousands of hard working
people and their product. Incredible.
Just to make sure I wasn’t off base I dropped a line to a well-informed lobster industry observer in Nova Scotia to confirm.
Here’s what he said:
is full of shit, as usual. He should be sued for that
statement. This is why we need a strong body like the Lobster Council to
refute such idiotic statements. Actually, the feds and provinces should step
in on this one and present the Americans with the facts.”
Anyways, to close the narrative, the
Black Pearl apparently closed not long after the show. And further to that, the
restaurant owners actually blamed Ramsay and his menu and style changes for helping to precipitate a 50 per
cent drop in their business.
And there was certainly no love lost
as THIS letter, written by the owners following their experience with Ramsay,
will quite clearly demonstrate.
quote from that letter pretty much states how the owners felt about Ramsay’s
anti-Canadian lobster insinuations: “For
God's sake, he thinks the Canadian and Maine lobster are two different species!
Maybe he thinks Canadian lobsters have an accent--"butter, eh?"
It turns out the Black Pearl was bought by another owner and turned
into something called the “Hog Pit” when Ramsay revisited a year later.
tried and loved the pulled pork sliders, a heaping helping of pig on a bun.
the minds of Canadian lobster harvesters, this was probably a solid example of
the idea “you are what you eat.”
Jeremy, Posted on Monday, December 17, 2012
Canadian lobsters ARE crap because in Canada they are allowed to catch and keep about anything so they have whatever they throw on the boat; in Maine the industry is so strongly regulated you can only catch and keep a very very narrow margin of the lobsters and the breed thrives better. Combine that with the differences in current and temperature between Maine and Nova Scotia and yes...Maine lobster good; Canadian lobster filler. Also the Canadian Lobster Council shouldn't be used as a source; they're a rah-rah PR wing for the government-sponsored fishing industry up there.