By, Chef Alex Placencia
Native Foods Cafe
I recently got an invitation from the U.S. Potato Board to attend a 3 day seminar at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, CA. What an amazing experience to be surrounded by the beauty of wine country but also to be back in the classroom with my peers, learning, brainstorming and creating with an amazing vegetable and America’s number 1 side dish, the potato.
It’s safe to say most of us love potatoes and most of us also tend to feel some guilt after consuming them. Potatoes have received a bad reputation for being starchy and full of carbs; but I am here with some good news and flattering facts about potatoes. One medium 5.3 ounce potato with the skin on has ZERO fat, cholesterol, and sodium. On top of that, a potato contains twice as much potassium as a banana; they are rich in vitamin C, and a great source of fiber. As if that was not enough, potatoes are vegan and naturally gluten free. This seminar renewed my love for potatoes and awakened my excitement to create with them. Here are just a few of the creations we came up with at the seminar.
Torta espanola drizzled with Serrano crema
My creation on behalf of Native Foods was the Purple Pig, baked scalloped potatoes with pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle aioli.
Finally a Summer Squash potato gnocchi salad with green beans, acorn squash, and lemon vinaigrette.