May/June 2022 - 30

Empowering potato consumption
through culinary innovation
Have you ever
RJ Harvey
Culinary Director
thought about making
gnocchi from your
favorite potato chips?
How about making
flavorful potato pickles
or pierogies that take
you to Mexico with
each bite? Or how to
master the ultimate
baked potatoes or
potato salad?
The Potatoes USA
culinary department
goes beyond the expected ways to cook with
potatoes, showcasing potatoes in dishes
everyone craves.
The culinary department is a resource for
all of the marketing programs and the entire
potato industry. While culinary embraces
the target audiences from all of the
program, the primary focus is consumers
and chefs. These audiences are inspired
to increase potato usage through vibrant
food photography, enticing recipes and
descriptions, and helpful food prep tips.
Chef RJ Harvey, culinary director, and
Chef Vince Armada, executive sous chef, are
leading the culinary efforts and collectively
bring more than 25 years of experience
to the kitchen. They provide food trends,
research and development, nutrition and food
science knowledge, and fine dining cooking
techniques to craft mouthwatering creations.
These recipes are developed to meet the
challenges and opportunities of each target
audience. For instance, consumers want to
see the simplicity of recipes and how they can
come together in minutes while still being full
of flavors that everyone in the family will love.
Foodservice operators are motivated to menu
more potatoes in interesting ways when they
see inspiring yet simplistic recipes.
In just the past eight months, the culinary
team has developed over 90 potato recipes,
which revolve around categories such as
global bowl concepts, potato sandwiches,
seasonal salads, air fryer concepts, tater
tailgate dishes, simple school night suppers,
and shareable appetizers. Stylized food
photos are then taken in-house to accompany
each dish to bring the recipes to life.
Left, Latke Chips and Dip. Top right, Hash Brown Breakfast Torta. Bottom right, Shawarma
Spiced Potato Bowl. Photos: Potatoes USA
The culinary team further engages with
consumers and chefs by filming cooking
demonstrations, hosting live training
sessions in the spud lab, and traveling
to events around the world. The cooking
demonstrations are used to educate chefs,
registered dietitians, nutritionists, and
consumers on the best ways to prepare
potatoes. These cooking demonstrations are
often collaborations with industry experts,
including chefs from potato processors,
state organizations, celebrity chefs and
nutrition experts who are excited to be in
the spud lab talking about America's favorite
vegetable. These videos are then showcased
on, Potatoes USA
social channels via Instagram, Facebook and
LinkedIn, or are broadcasted on webinars for
training opportunities.
Innovation is key to helping chef
operators in foodservice understand the
possibilities with potatoes. The culinary
team hosts innovation sessions in the spud
lab to help tailor potato-centric recipes
to meet a brand's identity. The spud lab
is the hub for providing this hands-on
training. With six workstations and stateof-the-art
technology, eager participants
get to command their own space while
learning helpful hacks, best practices, and
the endless possibilities of cooking with
potatoes. Crispy potatoes in a crunch wrap
for Taco Bell? No problem! Loaded fry
dishes for Twin Peaks? You bet! Culinary has
worked with some of the nation's top brands
and is responsible for getting fantastic
potato menu options in front of consumers,
which certainly drives demand. These chef
workshops and innovation sessions can be
hosted in the spud lab, conducted virtually,
or the culinary team hits the road to educate
operators on their home turf.
With every new image, and every enticing
description of each new recipe, the Potatoes
USA culinary department aids all the
marketing programs in the mission of getting
more people to eat more potatoes in more
ways. Keep checking out PotatoGoodness.
com to see what new inspiration the culinary
department has cooked up.

May/June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May/June 2022

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