Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) Announces Winning Happy Hour Recipes

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Eagle, ID, January 26, 2009—The judges of Idaho Potato Commission's first Idaho Potato Happy Hour Recipe Contest had their work cut out for them testing and tasting recipes submitted by chefs from upscale restaurants, culinary schools, local watering holes, and everywhere in between! The Happy Hour Recipe Contest ran from September 1 to December 31, 2008, and challenged professional chefs and cooks at restaurants and other noncommercial foodservice establishments as well as culinary students to put pen to paper and share their surefire Idaho potato happy hour recipe secrets. In total, $35,000 was awarded in cash and prizes to the top recipe submissions in three categories -Appetizers, Side Dishes, and Late-Night Snacks.

"IPC was extremely impressed with the diversity and unique Idaho potato applications showcased in The Happy Hour Recipe Contest," said Don Odiorne, IPC Vice President, Foodservice. "It was rewarding to see - and taste - first-hand how many foodservice operators and aspiring chefs use Idaho potatoes. From simple, straightforward recipes to more complex creations, it was clear to us that the possibilities for Idaho potatoes are infinite. We all know Idaho potatoes perform well in foodservice because of their high solids and low water content," Odiorne continued. "And, in recent days, consumers are looking for good value. Good value coupled with great taste is the key to moving menu items and keeping guests hungry for more."

In total, seven recipes won first and second place in the three categories. The Grand Prize Winner, Porcupine Idaho Potatoes With Hot Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce submitted by Tommy Masaracchia, Executive Chef/Owner of Tope La Restaurant in Hammond, LA, dazzled the tasters. "Chef Masaracchia's recipe was a unique combination of both texture and taste," said Odiorne. "The savory, soft potato center and outside crunch teamed with the sweet heat of the red pepper jelly won the judges over immediately." Other winning recipes included:

  • Second Place Appetizer: Parmesan Fried Diced Idaho Potatoes; Mark Newton, Executive Chef, Ohio State University

  • First Place Side Dish: Stuffed Idaho Potato Hashbrowns; Benjamin Thoen, Chef, Good Thyme Woodfire Grill and Catering, Washburn, WI

  • Second Place Side Dish: Truffled Parmesan Idaho Potato Cannoli, Martin Wolf, Executive Chef, Greenville Tech Carolina Culinary Institute, Easley, SC

  • First Place Late-Night Snack: Idaho Potato Arancini; Pete Dressen, Executive Chef, Walden Country Inn, Aurora, OH

  • Second Place Late-Night Snack: Fully Loaded Idaho Potato Gnocchi; Jorge De La Torre, Dean of Culinary Education, Johnson & Wales University

  • Second Place Late-Night Snack: Irish Style Nachos With Idaho Potatoes; Patterson Watkins, Catering Manager, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

To view the winning recipes and photography, visit In addition to the recipes listed above, winning entries from another competition with the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Association members are also featured.

IPC presented a Swiss Army watch valued at $115 for the first 100 entries. To experience IPC's extensive suggestions for foodservice recipe ideas, visit
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About Idaho Potato Commission
Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion, and research. The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® potato" and "Grown in Idaho" seals, which are federally registered certification marks that belong to IPC. These marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

About Women Chefs and Restaurateurs
Formed in 1993 by eight of the nation's top women chefs and restaurateurs, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) has grown to more than 2,000 members, offering a variety of networking, professional and support services. WCR's mission is to promote and enhance the education, advancement and connection of women in the culinary industry.