There are so many days that I have to give thanks to God for the many blessings in my life. Not only do I have two amazing children and a wonderful family, I am also surrounded by so many talented bloggers in Tampa Bay. Although my life has been very hectic and I have not been able to work on my blog as much as I want, I am constantly inspired by others that make me want to reach the next level of food writing and recipe development. Two weeks ago I was invited by my Sunday Supper Family to an exquisite Idaho Potato event at the gorgeous Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa. Everything from start to finish was absolutely stellar and my love of potatoes grew even more. Not only did I learn a ton, like how to properly slice and dice, I made new friends and beautiful memories.
As usual, I was coming from work and was a tad late so I missed breakfast. When I arrived I was welcomed with a gorgeous gift set from Idaho Potato which included a collection of Wüsthof knives and a cutting board that dreams are made of from John Boos & Co.
Ok, so how many of you are experts with knives? I thought I was pretty good until I learned that I have been slicing incorrectly for years. After seeing a demonstration and getting a hands-on lesson, I was able to perfect my technique and speed up my knife skills. I was embarrassed at first, as it took me multiple times to get it right, but in the end I was so happy to have learned the correct way to hold a knife and now I feel like a pro.
As we all were learning how to properly slice potatoes for recipes such as scalloped potatoes, potato chips and more, were were treated to a sample of Idaho Potato Scalloped Au Gratin. All of my troubles melted away as I sampled this comforting dish. I closed my eyes and began to imagine serving this as a side for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Next we began discussing one of America’s most classic dishes…….potato salad. As a potato lover, I must confess that I have only made basic potato salad a handful of times and was blown away by the salad that we were presented with. Gorgeous in color, the Roasted Idaho Potato Fingerling Salad was one of the highlights of my day and was soon to be a huge part of our after lunch session. Made with haricots verts, Idaho® fingerling potatoes, shallots, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, and Dijon mustard, this salad was truly life changing. I never knew that a potato salad could stand out so much and be so much more than just a side dish. What we ate was magical and left me wanting more. As I was enjoying my sample dish, my mind began to dream up potato salad recipes.
If you know me, then you know that one of my all time favorite dishes is risotto. I enjoying making it and most of all eating it. We were in for a real treat as we had a cooking presentation for potato risotto. I swear my heart must have skipped a beat when they said my two favorite words, “potato” and “risotto” in one sentence.
As you can see from the photos, we were all uber excited to try the potato risotto.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, the intoxicating scent of cream, butter and truffle oil took over and I was in risotto heaven. Thick, creamy and oh so good, I was temporarily in a state of nirvana.
We were then whisked off to lunch at Elevage and enjoyed a glorious dish which was their Homage to Bern’s: pressed steak sandwich, alpine cheese, French onion au jus and a hasselback potato. Can I just say that this was one of the top 5 steak sandwiches that I have had in my life? Each bite was pure bliss.
As we enjoyed lunch and each others company, we were then told about what was going to happen next that was going to involve potato salad. We were going to be divided into 4 teams and were going to have a potato salad contest. Each team had to create their own potato salad with their choice of an array of ingredients. Unfortunately I was not able to get many photos since I was so busy trying to help create a masterpiece. Sadly, our team did not win the contest, but what we did win was the desire to get creative with potatoes in the kitchen.
I had such a wonderful day with my Sunday Supper Family and Idaho Potatoes. I look forward to sharing my potato recipe adventures with you in the very near future.