The Gabriel Archer Tavern’s Roasted Corn and Crab Bisque - The Williamsburg Winery

The Gabriel Archer Tavern’s Roasted Corn and Crab Bisque

Bisque. See this on any menu and you know right away you’re getting something rich and thick. 

Cream based. 

A blend of satisfying flavors. 

And you’ll probably want to tell yourself it’s calorie free. 

But it doesn’t really matter. 

In the coldest winter months – and even those first few days of spring in Virginia – you’ll eat it no matter what. 

It’s just that good. 

Especially at Gabriel Archer Tavern – we’re biased, we know! – where Wessex Hundred’s Chef de Cuisine David McClure serves up a Roasted Corn and Crab Bisque every day. 

Chef McClure has always been a fan of bisques and drew inspiration for this recipe from a famous ingredient local to coastal Virginia: blue crab. 

Known for a rich, sweet flavor with a delicate meat, these delicious, colorful crustaceans are plentiful in the Chesapeake Bay and a staple throughout the watershed for everything from she-crab soup to crab cakes, crab boils, and bisques. 

The special lump crabmeat from the blue crab consists of smaller white flakes of meat that work well in dishes where color and flavor are the stars of the dish rather than large pieces of crab meat. 

A special ingredient – Bloody Mary mix – adds a depth of flavor without a spicy bite, which when combined with the sweetness of the crab and roasted corn, results in a rich spoonful with layers of flavor. 


What you’ll need for the bisque: 

  • ½ tbsp butter 
  • 1 cup roasted corn 
  • ½ cup garlic, finely diced 
  • ½ cup shallots, finely diced 
  • 1 cup white wine (Chef McClure suggests The Williamsburg Winery Petit Manseng
  • ½ cup roasted tomato paste 
  • ½ pound special lump blue crab meat 
  • 1 quart Bloody Mary mix (to add a depth of flavor without a spicy bite) 
  • 1 quart heavy cream 

What you’ll need for the garnish: 

  • Salt 
  • Pink peppercorns 
  • Creme Fraiche 
  • Smoked paprika 
  • Microgreens 

What you’ll do: 

  • Place tomato paste in a small oven-safe dish and roast in hot oven uncovered until dark and slightly charred on top. While paste is roasting, finely dice ½ cup each of garlic and shallots. 
  • In a large stock pot on medium heat, melt butter then add garlic and shallots, cooking until translucent. Add roasted corn and sauté, then deglaze pan with wine. 
  • Add roasted tomato paste and stir. Add crab meat and Bloody Mary mix. Stir until thoroughly incorporated. 
  • Allow to cook until reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once mixture is reduced, whisk in heavy cream and allow to reduce by half again, about 20 minutes. 
  • For garnish: In a separate bowl, mix together creme fraiche and smoked paprika until thoroughly combined and mixture is red in color. 
  • Serve in a medium bowl, topping with creme fraiche and sprinkling with salt and pink peppercorns. Garnish with microgreens. Serves 6.

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