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At Michael Mina’s high-volume, high-style Bourbon Steak San Francisco the vibe is upscale casual. And when it comes to potatoes, Executive Chef Omri Aflalo uses simple, creative touches to transform classic steakhouse potato sides into big-ticket standouts that really sell.
Taking the Baked Potato Over the Top
The idea: “The Loaded Potato”
Aflalo’s take on this steakhouse staple is all about luxury and drama, yet it’s just about as easy to plate and serve as the usual baked potato with toppings.
How it’s done:
Russets are baked on a bed of coarse salt, which helps absorb moisture and promotes even browning. The spuds are held warm. To order, the top 1/4 is sliced off (and saved for potato skins at the bar), and the exposed face quickly browned in a sauté pan in clarified butter. The potato is topped with citrus crème fraîche (flavored with lemon juice and zest). Tableside, servers dollop “cheesy creamy potatoes” (Mornay sauce mixed with mashed creamer potatoes) over the top, then garnish with diced sharp Cheddar, crumbled house-cured pancetta and chives.
Mashed Potato Makeover
The idea: “Pommes Purée”
How can you turn a simple side of mashed potatoes into a must-have menu star that turns heads and sparks impulse orders? It’s all about the presentation.
How it’s done:
Aflalo serves his classic buttery purée of creamer potatoes in a single-serve mini fondue pot with a sprinkling of chives and tangle of crispy potato threads (russets cut on a Japanese spiral shredder and deep fried).
Executive Chef Omri Aflalo has always been partial to potatoes. During a 6-year stint at Michel Richard’s Citronelle, he learned to love them for their infinite versatility. He uses them to balance the flavor and texture of all kinds of dishes, from soups and sauces to purees, beans and lentils. And he’s all about featuring them in cutting edge creative applications, like foams, sous-vide “confit potatoes” and more.
Weekly Potato Recipe
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