Q&A: Senior Executive Chef Joe Goetze, Founding Farmers
What was the inspiration behind your Shrimp Louis and Pickled Vegetable Salad? Why add potatoes?
The potato salad was inspired by all of the pickling we do in-house at Founding Farmers. We wanted to feature pickled vegetables and give a lighter, more flavorful take on the traditional potato salad. Our Shrimp Louie Salad is another play on a classic dish – the addition of potatoes gives it a fun farmers’ twist. Potatoes add a light flavor and distinctive texture to both dishes, while also providing excellent value.
What are your top three favorite types of potatoes to work with and what is your favorite way to prepare them?
My three favorite types of potatoes to work with at Founding Farmers are Yukon Gold, Russet, and Fingerling potatoes. Yukon Golds are on the list because of their buttery, creamy texture. I like to use them for making mashed potatoes. I also love Russet potatoes, which have a high starch content that works well for making gnocchi and French fries. Fingerling Potatoes are another favorite because of their lower starch content, which makes them perfect for roasting.
How do you see potatoes fitting into the New American Menu?
The potato is a homegrown, traditional crop that’s adaptable and delicious, making it a perfect fit for the contemporary American menu at Founding Farmers.
Why do you serve potatoes at your operation?
We serve potatoes because they’re a classic crop that speaks to the American family farmer. The simplicity of potatoes makes them an easy and delicious vegetable to use in a variety of ways on our menu.
What do potatoes bring to the menu that make them different from other vegetable options?
Potatoes are unique in their versatility. Their simplicity and flavor allows us to tailor the preparation to work well with any center-of-the-plate protein. Potatoes are special because they can play a strong supporting role in practically any dish.
What trends are you seeing for potatoes in the next year or two?
I’m expecting to see some new variations on mashed potatoes, as well baked potatoes with inventive custom toppings. Another trend I see on the horizon for potatoes is French fries fried in pure animal fat, like duck, beef, or pork fat.
Why do you think potatoes are appealing to your customers?
Potatoes are a vegetable that hugs you; they are comfort food that is never intimidating. Our guests love potatoes because they are accessible and delicious, no matter how we prepare them.