The Heat Was on in South Beach as Top Chefs Competed Against Each Other in the Third Annual Idaho® Potato Side Dish Challenge

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Chef Carlos Barillas Secures Grand Prize in the Challenge at the
Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash® and

Awards $5,000 to Florida International University




EAGLE, ID, February 25, 2011 — The nation’s most talented chefs competed for a ‘good cause’ at the fifth annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Allen Brothers hosted by Rachael Ray. In addition to the battle to create the best burger, their love for spuds was tested during the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) Side Dish Challenge. The IPC, a Silver Sponsor of the Festival, enlisted the renowned group of Burger Bash® participants to show off their culinary excellence by preparing an exceptional Idaho® potato side dish. The Grand Prize was a $5,000 donation to Florida International University made by the IPC on behalf of Chef Carlos Barillas, Corporate Chef of Burger & Beer Joint, Miami Beach.





The judging team included Frank Muir, IPC President & CEO; Don Odiorne, IPC Vice President, Foodservice and the revered syndicated TV personality Art Ginsburg, aka 'Mr.Food.' “This is the third year we’ve hosted the Side Dish Challenge and we continue to be impressed with the chefs’ enthusiasm, talent and creativity when cooking with Idaho® potatoes,” said Frank Muir. “This evening’s event was unmatched, and all the participating chefs deserve a standing ovation. However, after we tasted all of the dishes and calculated the scores, Chef Barillas earned the title of Grand Prize Winner for his Truffle Baked Potato Salad.”

Lee Schrager and Rachael Ray congratulate Chef Carlos Barillas (center),  along with Frank Muir and Mr. Food

Lee Schrager and Rachael Ray congratulate Chef Carlos Barillas (center), along with Frank Muir and Mr. Food

“I understand the needs of how America cooks and am always on the look out for innovative, great tasting recipes that use every day staples, like Idaho® potatoes. Tonight’s side dishes wowed all of us,” said Mr. Food. “It’s so important to stay motivated in the kitchen and try something new. The dishes we sampled tonight were a true tribute to the chefs’ ingenuity. Have fun while you’re cooking; think out of the box and experiment – your friends and family will love you for it!”

“Idaho® potatoes are the perfect potato for this Truffle Baked Potato Salad,” said Chef Barillas. “They provide a great foundation for a blend of so many different flavorings.”

Chef Barillas received special kudos from Mr. Food, who after tasting the winning dish, exclaimed, “OOH IT’S SO GOOD!!”
The side dishes were judged on a five-point scale for each of the following criteria: Use of Product, Originality, Presentation and Flavor. The side dish with the highest total score captured the Grand Prize.

Chefs participating in the Idaho® Potato Side Dish Challenge included:

Carlos Barillas – Beer & Burger Joint (Miami Beach) – Grand Prize Winner
Ortello Cardenas – El Mago de las Fritas (Miami)
Jose Garces – Garces Restaurant Group/Village Whiskey (Philadelphia)
Howie Kleinberg – Bulldog Burger (Miami)
Tim Love – Love Shack (Ft Worth)
Danny Meyer – Shake Shack (Miami Beach)
Marc Murphy – Landmarc (NYC)
Michael Saperstein – Charm City Burger Company (Deerfield Beach)
Michael Schlow – Radius (Boston, MA)
Laurent Tourondel – BLT Steak (Miami Beach)
Jacques Van Staden – QSine by JVS (Celebrity Cruises)
Oscar Vides – Bistro One LR at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach (Miami Beach)

For recipes, tips and additional information about Idaho® potatoes, visit

All proceeds from the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine benefit the Florida International University (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, both located on FIU’s Biscayne Bay campus.

About the Idaho Potato Commission
The 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 the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.