My introduction to the potato came from Hasbro by way of Santa in the form of Mr. Potato Head. Fast forward several decades and my love affair with the potato has blossomed and flourished.
The Sunday Supper Movement recently invited me to attend a VIP event at the Epicurean Hotel for “Idaho Potato’s Cuts Class.” Not knowing what to expect, I joyfully excepted knowing that Idaho Potato was the headliner.
Held in the Epicurean’s stadium style culinary theater, Chef Christopher Kottke (Host of Let’s Dish) adeptly took us through the paces of safely learning knife skills. From how to hold a knife to its motion and movement, he instilled in me a new found confidence that I lacked before this #IdahoPotatoCutsClass.
Chef Dave Wooley (Chef, CD Culinary Approach) taught us how to make scalloped potatoes, potato salad and even something very new to me, potato risotto using the techniques we had just learned. We sliced, we diced, and we sampled. A tasty lesson indeed.
We lunched on salad, steak sandwiches, and Hasselback potatoes. I had the honor and pleasure to sit next to Don Odiorne (VP Foodservice at Idaho Potato Commission) a.k.a. Dr. Potato. This was equivalent to dining with the Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger. Don is the rock star of potatoes. Conversation flowed as freely as the butter
on our Idaho potatoes. Don told me there are 30 varieties of Idaho Potatoes. Can you name them? I couldn’t either, but a few I’ve since discovered are Huckleberry Gold, Ida Rose, and Purple Passion.
After lunch, in Sunday Supper tradition, there was a #Hashed competition. We broke up into teams and were given a choice of ingredients to create a winning potato salad. I’m the first to admit that I’m not good at team cooking competitions. I am a firm believer that too many cooks spoil the broth, and I immediately became overwhelmed with anxiety. As seasonings and sauces flew off the shelves with no clear cut plan, my team’s recipe ran amok with a touch of this and a dash of that. While our potato salad garnered less than rave reviews, it was a fun exercise, and I enjoyed the creative process.
And, as if all of this wasn’t enough fun for one day, we were gifted with a John Boos & Co. cutting board and Wüsthof knives to recreate potato magic at home. Be still my beating heart, professional knives and a butcher block from the best.
I love that Idaho potato is passionate about home cooks.
Stuffed, puffed, scalloped, dolloped, fried, chipped, hashed, boiled, browned, baked or caked, how do you make your Idaho potatoes? Share your favorite recipe below.