A Thanksgiving Dinner with the US Potato Board and the USDA + An All Potato Experience For You!

I was excited to join the Thanksgiving dinner in Manila, hosted by the US Potato Board Philippines (USPB) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). It's something I look forward to now ever since I've been introduced to the same Thanksgiving experience, um, last year haha. It's an evening filled with potatoes from appetizers to dessert and a private dinner once again with dishes prepared by Chef Myrna Segismundo! This year, Chef Robby Goco of the famed Greek restaurant chain Cyma gave us a taste of Potato Martinis to boot! I was also able to bring home something for two of my readers so that you can have a gourmet potato experience yourself at home =)


My potato preference: Let me tell you I don't like potatoes but this event made me think twice last year and potatoes have been slowly growing on me haha. If I were you, I would read my first US Potato Board Thanksgiving Dinner post last year first. It's really weird that the turkey is supposed to be the star of this night but the US potatoes, both frozen potatoes (think French fries) and dehydrated potatoes (think mashed potatoes), clearly stole the spotlight. I actually didn't get to see the potatoes whole and in their raw form, I just ate them in the most outrageous / unimaginable presentations ever haha.


We don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here in Manila but I'm glad that our hosts brought it here and the potatoes from the US to give us a generous serving of this wonderful tradition of giving thanks. They introduced me to a day filled with gratitude, an avenue to meet more people and another wonderful experience to write about. Toward the end of the year, the feast of Thanksgiving is a way Americans and Canadians mostly acknowledge the blessings they have received during the year and the people in their lives. The USDA Agricultural Attache said that it was originally the Pilgrims' way of being grateful for surviving winter and to thank the Native Americans who helped them.


This event was held at the exclusive Restaurant 9501 hidden in the 14th Floor of the ELJ Center in Quezon City.


Here are some of the dishes served during the event. For appetizer, Chef Robby prepared the four items in the US Mashed Potato Martini Bar a.k.a. Mashtini Bar. He took us to other parts of the world with the Turkey Stew + Potato Espuma, with the Korean Beef Stew + Wasabi/Potato Espuma (I liked this the best with the kimchi and bean sprouts even!),


with the Mediterranean Lamb Stifado + Roasted Eggplant / Potato Espuma and the Deep-Fried Halibut + Skordalia Espuma (like Fish & Chips).


These were all served in Martini glasses and the Espuma (goes in the glass first) made from US Dehydrated Potatoes were served like whipped cream.


I was actually a bit taken with the wealth of flavors of the small meals and the conversation with my table mates so I wasn't able to take lots of photos after they declared open buffet.


I preferred the per plate serving last year rather than the buffet style this year. I had to line up numerous times to taste all the dishes (I actually gave up half way due to the high carb meals), confused on what to get first haha and could only take pictures of some of the main courses like this - the Barbequed US Baby Back Ribs and Potato Wedges in Smokey Hickory Sauce. I loved the Potato Wedges in this dish!


One of my favorites was the grainy US Straight Cut Potato and Mixed Seafood Chowder. The texture almost seemed like miso soup.


I loved the US Potato, Apple and Cabbage Marmalade too and I was too excited to take a picture haha. I ran out of the Pot Roast US Beef with Half Shell Potatoes and Mushrooms. =( Like last year, we had the Classic Turkey with Cranberry Relish, Giblet Gravy and those yummy Candied US Half Shell Potatoes. The potatoes made me think of Christmas and dessert haha and the turkey of Thanksgiving =)


For dessert, there's the US Criss-Cut Potato and Apple Pan Dowdy. I actually prefer this rather than the more sour all-apple pies. You'd think you're cutting into cinnamon apple but when you bite it, it's potato! haha.


Then there's the US Berry Trifle, which we were thinking probably had hidden potatoes too hehe.


There's also a Fruit, US Nuts & US Cheese Platter, which I wasn't able to try anymore because I was too full of potatoes!


Truly, this yearly event has opened my eyes to the versatility of potatoes. There's so much more you can do with potatoes than just French fries. Chefs and some of the restaurants and caterers we know prefer to use US Frozen Potato and US Dehy Potato products as it adheres to the industry standards of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before it gets to the Philippines. They say that the supply is also steady and the quality consistent. For more details about US Frozen Potatoes and US Dehy Potatoes, just go to www.potatoesusa-philippines.com.


And so there you have it, I know I cannot recreate the past and this evening for you, let me make it up to you by giving you some mini-recipe books that feature US Frozen Potatoes, which you can find in supermarkets and local dealers. I think these books are free but I wouldn't know where to find them so I just got a little extra to give out so that you can experiment and whip up your potato-themed meal at home. Maybe you can replicate this all-potato dinner at home, yah? =)


The good thing about these recipes is that potatoes are not only great sidings, you can use them to make soups and the bases for Pinoy dishes! There's one book that says Bar Food Menu which has menus from different restaurants like Giligan's Island so this is good for pica-pica and gatherings or your restaurant. There's two called Pinoy na Pinoy na Potato with recipes from Discovery Suites, Annabel's and Tagaytay Highlands. There's another one called US Frozen Potato Menus for the Call Center Agents (I believe this contains high-fiber diet and weight reduction recipes). Let me just give these to 2 Philippine readers because you might be a bit "bitin with one 17 to 20-page recipe book. Just follow the Rafflecopter below so that it is fair to everybody who really wants them:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win, you can get in touch with me via the contact form. I was only able to get one that says US Potatoes Around the World: A Collection of Foodservice Recipes and I can give you what I can (probably max of 3 for now, just tell me which country and type specifically). It has recipes by country:


For Appetizers,
Malaysia, China, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, South Korea

For Main Dishes,
Malaysia, International, Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China

For Soups and Salads,
Mexico, South Korea, Zambia, Hong Kong, USA

For Sides,
Malaysia, Mexico, Hong Kong, USA

For Breakfast,
Bolivia, Singapore

For Baked Goods and Desserts,
Malaysia, Zambia, Senegal, Japan, Moldovia

So, do you have any specialty potato dishes? If you don't cook, what are your favorite potato dishes and where have you tried themHow do you like your US Frozen Potato Products - in Lattice/Basket Weave, Crinkle Cut, Loop/Curly, Hash Browns, Frozen Mashed, Half Shells, Diced, Straight Cut, Tater Drums or Wedges? Which mini-recipe book do you want - the Pinoy na Pinoy Recipes, the one with the Call Center Agent Menu or the one with the Bar Food Menu? Feel free to tell me below =) 

Lastly, I'd like to ask in light of the spirit of Thanksgiving, what are you thankful about? Tell me all about it too below =) I'm thankful for all the support you have given me this year. Thank you so much!

A Thanksgiving Dinner with the US Potato Board and the USDA + An All Potato Experience For You!