Do you have a favorite memory of any potato dish that was on the menu at a restaurant that sticks in your mind and why?A:
I have had a lot of spectacular potato dishes over the years, but that one that I think it the easiest for a restaurant to replicate, not necessarily the cheapest, is duck fat fries. There is something decadent about the whole idea and while to some it sounds awful, I guarantee you that done right this will be etched in your memory forever. Once at an event we used a brand new experimental fryer that could keep frying temps at their peak, had quick recovery times, and used less energy. Seemed like the perfect test for an Idaho potato to be French fried. It was. The participants in the conference took a break to go out on the back patio of the hotel to take in the sun and see the San Diego skyline. Chef Todd Downs, Foodservice Solutions, had coordinated the menu with the organizer Sharon Iler at the Flavor & the Menu conference. The smell of freshly fried potatoes with that distinctive crunch is unbelievable. Here is a recipe for another version of using Duck Fat fries (from the Food Network chef competition):
Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood at Mandalay Bay
Bake Idaho potatoes in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes (I would suggest a 90 count size). Remove and cool down. Slice into ½” thick rounds. Heat duck fat in shallow pots. Fry the potatoes until crisp (20 minutes). After 10 minutes, add garlic cloves, rosemary and thyme. After crispy, drain and keep warm. Season with salt.
And then serve to an appreciative foodie audience!