Lesson Plans

Mar 26, 2017, 15:52

Lesson Plan: Healthy Frying—How Is that Possible?

Courtesy of the Idaho Potato Commission

This lesson plan for the culinary classroom focuses on an educational session presented at the 2013 CAFÉ Leadership Conference in Miami by Don Odiorne, vice-president foodservice for the Idaho Potato Commission, and Newman Miller, corporate executive chef for Bunge, at Johnson & Wales University’s N. Miami campus, June 22.

The downloadable PowerPoint reveals tips for perfectly frying Idaho Potatoes—for instance, blanching potatoes partially cooks the product, deactivates enzymes that discolor the fries, sets the texture, reduces oil absorption in frying, controls the color, decreases fry time and reduces bacterial count—as well as other applications. Additionally, the PowerPoint contains info on proper storage of Idaho potatoes, typical yields and food costs, and a comparison of oil types for frying, among other instruction. Several menu and foodservice trends are also revealed.

To augment the PowerPoint presentation, “Potato 101” at www.potato101.com is an easy-to-follow educational program and reference guide. It provides a base understanding of potatoes, starting with their history in Idaho and why the soil, water and climate combine perfectly to make their quality outstanding. Visitors to the site will also learn about the health and nutrition aspects of potatoes as well as their economical cost and versatility on menus.

DOWNLOAD, Frying Idaho Potatoes and Other Foodservice Trends

Photo:The Idaho Potato Commission and Bunge collaborated at the 9th-annual Leadership Conference at JWU in Miami in June to offer education on ideal oil types and tips for frying Idaho potatoes, among other meaningful menu applications.

Lesson Plan: Dr. Potato Has a New Address

Find answers to hot (and cold) potato questions at dr.idahopotato.com.

The Dr. Potato Blog, the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) popular resource for frequently asked questions about the state’s top crop, now has its own address. For answers to puzzling ingredient, technique and menu queries about Idaho® potatoes, the Doctor is in at dr.idahopotato.com. Even better, operators, educators and students will find useful tips for maximizing the appeal and profitability of Idahopotato offerings.

Don Odiorne, IPC vice president-foodservice and Idaho potato-industry veteran, applies his practical and culinary experience to each response. His current posts tackle timely topics like healthy Idaho potato-menu options, the best internal temperature for a baked Idaho potato and techniques for baking 50 Idahopotatoes at a time.

Submit an Idaho potato question to Dr. Potato at dr.idahopotato.com. To browse the Idaho Potato Commission’s foodservice-recipe database, “Passionate About Potatoes” foodservice ad campaign, and shippers and processor directory, or to download the Idaho Potato Commission Foodservice Toolkit, visit foodservice.idahopotato.com.

To order a “Passionate About Potatoes” chef recipe set, email the Idaho Potato Commission at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (208) 334-2350.

Lesson Plan: Blueberry Blog

Dynamo Digest is a new component to the USHBC website.

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council has launched Dynamo Digest, a blog component to its website. The new blog at www.blueberrycouncil.org/foodservice/dynamo-digest aims to offer an extensive range of information, tips and advice from chefs and foodservice professionals. In association with “Little Blue Dynamos,” the blog's name also reflects the dynamic communications needed to match the ever-changing conditions of the foodservice industry.

Mark Villata, executive director of the USHBC, is excited about the initiative and what it has to offer. “There is a constant influx of information with which people in foodservice need to be kept up to speed,” he says. “Dynamo Digest will be a valuable resource for creative ways to use blueberries, and will go beyond that.” In addition to introducing ways to use various forms of blueberries like fresh, dried, frozen and liquid, the blog will also divulge insights from dietitians, chefs and foodservice professionals on topics such as produce news, school programs, menu trends and dining experiences.

Lesson Plan: Radicchio

Assertive radicchio mates happily with “power partners” to create blissful culinary marriages.

Courtesy of Royal Rose LLC

The assertive flavor of radicchio, once only the darling of cutting-edge chefs, has penetrated the U.S. salad market. No longer an “adult” ingredient, it is showing up in salads from McDonald’s to the salad blends in the produce aisle. Blending it with other, milder greens and lettuces has made radicchio an everyday player in salads everywhere.

Now, American ingenuity in the kitchen is taking radicchio beyond the traditional tossed salad. This is tasteful news, as radicchio’s bold flavor is an ideal foil for myriad other ingredients and flavors.

“Radicchio’s slightly spicy bite—its bright, bitter note—makes it pair deliciously with many other flavor components,” says Robin Kline, food writer, dietitian and culinary consultant. “In fact, there are five categories of foods that make radicchio perform brilliantly—mellowing its bitter character to 'just right.' These pairings or flavor-layering techniques create delicious synergy in a dish."

Lesson Plan: Busy, not Bored

lesson_march13Rotating groups through learning modules keeps students engaged while enhancing their skills development.

By Carrie Stebbins, CWE

If you teach practical lab classes and have not yet tried a lesson plan where you have students rotate through a number of modules, each teaching a specific skill, I encourage you to try!

This works especially well early in a class when you have several fundamental skills you want your students to practice. With a lab class of 20 students, I plan four modules with five students in each group. I give each of the groups a mise-en-place list.