PW-ACTUA A lot of creativity at the World Pea Soup and Potato-Vegetable Mash The World Pea Soup and Potato-Vegetable Mash (Mash Pot) Cooking Championship was organised for the 24th time in Groningen, this year. The 35 participants showed their skills in the modern kitchen of the Alpha College in the provincial capital on Friday, 16 February. After a day of fanatical cooking, John Spruit, Chef of Het Koetshuis restaurant in Enschede, received the silver Mash Pot ladle from the professional jury. With great public interest, the World Championship was held in the beautiful kitchen of the Groningen Alpha College in mid-February. It was the 24th edition this year. Over the years, the event has developed into a professional competition in which several chefs compete with fanatical amateurs from all over the country. During the tour of the different cooking areas, it was noticeable that the participants were using many different potato varieties. This varied from Opperdoezer Ronde (end of February), organically-grown Milva, Borgers, potatoes from a local With his loud voice, spontaneous laughter and striking tattoos, World Mash Pot Cooking Champion John Spruit is a fascinating character. Zeeland greengrocer who grows them himself from an unknown variety to organic, floury potatoes. It’s rather strange that many participants don’t consciously choose a variety with a unique flavour and cooking characteristics, while these characteristics are very important for the quality of the dish. As the competition progresses, it turns out that the potato is not always the main ingredient of the mash pots. In addition to wellknown dishes such as endive mash, with or without fried Zeeland bacon and the carrotand-onion mash, there are also true works of art with an Easter theme, served in a spicy edible dish, a mash pot with scallops, but also sweet potatoes and the trendy avocado are sometimes used. Organic floury potatoes form the basis of the winning dish. Professional jury The professional jury with different backgrounds had a difficult task to judge these often totally different dishes. The chairman of the jury was Janet Wesseldijk from the village of Bedum. She is an entrepreneur and, together with Pieter Wesseldijk, has been the owner of the Trefcentrum restaurant in Bedum for almost 30 years. She was assisted by Carolina Verhoeven from Appelscha, a culinary expert, and owner of the Academy of Culinary History. The Academy of Culinary History aims to be a meeting forum for a broad public, to update and bring people into contact with popular cuisine, and play a role as an intermediary between specialists and interested parties. Johan Klein Gebbink from Doorwerth was also there. He used to be kitchen manager at a large hotel business that provided training camps for various national and international football clubs. He’s been chef for the Dutch national football team at home and abroad for many years. In addition, co-owner of the Cookdown cooking studio in Doorwerth and Sjoerd Flameling from Grouw, chef of the renowned Oostergo hotel restaurant also participated. As a former participant of the World Pea Soup Cooking Championship and later of the World PotatoVegetable Mash Pot Cooking Championship, Sjoerd has won several prizes. In 2003, 10 Potato World 2018 • number 2 Pagina 9

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