Idaho Potato Commish Applauds Culinary Roadshow Winners

Twenty of Harvard University’s finest foodservice professionals recently competed in a recipe contest to transform Idaho potatoes, a beloved American staple, into mouth-watering masterpieces with an international flair.

The winners of the official Culinary Roadshow/Harvard-Idaho Potato Commission Recipe Contest include Chef Paula Gaughan, who took grand prize honors for her Asiago Soufflé Crimson Potatoes, along with a coveted 32 GB Apple iPad, and runner-up Chef Daniel Clarke, whose Potatoes Rioja-style with Chorizo earned him a $200 Best Buy gift card.

Winners of The Culinary Roadshow – which brings together influential colleges, universities and healthcare operations with leading commodity groups -- were chosen subsequently by a team of judges from the Eagle, Ida.-based Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), which based their scores on the following criteria/guidelines:

- Creative use of kitchen staples in international cooking applications.

- Products/ingredients must be commonly found in noncommercial foodservice kitchens.

- Usage of either a half cup or half an Idaho potato per serving, including Russet, Fingerling and Red Bliss varieties.

- Recipe’s application to college/university foodservice menus.

- User-friendly recipe to yield 48 to 50 servings.

- Submission of appealing digital photograph.

“Judging the Contest was no easy task,” said Don Odiorne, VP/foodservice, IPC. “We were extremely impressed with the high level of creativity showcased by this passionate group of foodservice operators. They basically reinvented a revered yet familiar menu item and transformed it into a delicious, ethnic-inspired dish.”

Chef Gaughan’s Asiago Soufflé Crimson Potatoes converted Idaho-grown Red Bliss potatoes into individual “spud soufflés” stuffed with a mixture of diced red onion, cheese and mayonnaise -- baked until fluffy and golden brown. With the flavors of Spain as his inspiration, Chef Clarke combined cubed Idaho potatoes with caramelized onions, sliced chorizo and pimento in his hearty Potatoes Rioja-style with Chorizo.

“Both chefs deserve top honors as their recipes met the criteria for executing exceptional dishes with commonly used ingredients,” added Odiorne, who noted that the recipes are “user friendly and easily applicable for university-driven, foodservice menus. Additionally, the international flavorings are a good match for diverse student populations.”

The contest took place on the heels of an educational presentation to approximately 60 foodservice professionals from Harvard University’s undergraduate dining program, representing 13 on-campus dining facilities. In addition to the IPC’s participation in The Culinary Roadshow, the American Lamb Board and Cargill Clear Valley Canola Oil also shared onsite operator training, food preparation techniques and product sampling.

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