The Long Island Potato Festival kicked off this past Sunday at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue, N.Y. and provided a day filled with fun and entertainment for over 1,500 spud lovers. The festival included over 60 exhibitors, programs, and activities for all ages. The star of the show, however, was the Long Island Potato Festival Contest Tent. Potato fans of all ages made their way down to watch, cheer, and participate in the potato-munium. Contests included:
- Mashed Potato Sculpting, which consisted of three categories: adult (18+), youth (13-17), and children (12 and under). Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life (except for paint/food coloring). Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and were voted on by festival goers. The contest began at 11:30am. Results were tallied at 4pm before the festival ended. Mashed potatoes were provided by The Good Life of Massapequa.
- Best Potato Salad, which consisted of two categories: home cook and professional Business. Contestants were judged by a panel of three judges, including two-time Chopped Champion Chef Marc Anthony Bynum from Hush Bistro, Master Chef David Hensley from CJ’s American Grill and Kerri Watkins from All American Wontons. Contestants were judged on a scale from 1-10 in four categories: presentation, creativity, use of potato, and overall taste. Contest was held at 1:00pm.
- The Great Potato Peeling Race, which consisted of teams of four competing in an epic peel off to see who could skin their spuds the quickest. Contestants were permitted to bring their own peeler (no blades over 3″). The team with the most ounces of potatoes peeled in 5 minutes was crowned the winner. There was also a prize for the individual who peeled the most ounces of potatoes in the allotted time. Contest was held at 2:00pm. Potatoes were provided by Jerry Shulman Produce Shipper Inc.
- Mashed Potato Eating, which consisted of three categories: adult (16+), youth (10-15), and children (9 and under). Contestants put their appetite and endurance to the test as they raced to see who could put down their bowl potatoes in the fastest time. children and youth both recieved a 1lb bowl of mashed potatoes, while adults received a two pound bowl. Contest was held at 3:00pm. Potatoes were provided by CJ’s American Grill of Mattituck, N.Y.
Through the mashing and making, cooking and creating, and peeling and presenting, the Long Island Potato Festival was able to crown the winners and award them with some wonderful prizes donated by some generous partners. 2014 Long Island Potato Festival Contest Winners:
- Mashed Potato Sculpting (Child) – “Sunflower” by Carly Shurbet (Miller Place)
- Mashed Potato Sculpting (Youth) – “Puppy” by Sarah Tsang(Hicksville)
- Mashed Potato Sculpting (Adult) – “Rose” by Alexendra Palermo (Massapequa)
- Best Potato Salad (Home Cook) – “Moma Molloys Red Bliss Potato Salad” by Loretta Garland (Sayville)
- Best Potato Salad (Professional) – Stuffed Potato Salad by The Crazy Fork(Mattituck)
- The Great Potato Peeling Race (Team) – 261 ounces by Peeling in Public(East Patchogue)
- The Great Potato Peeling Race (Individual) – 97.8 ounces by Sinisa Savnik (Mastic)
- Mashed Potato Eating (Child) – 1lb in 2mins & 46 seconds by Anthony Hoffman (Bellmore)
- Mashed Potato Eating (Youth) –1lb in 1min & 30 seconds by Thomas ‘TJ’ Callahan(Sunnyside)
- Mashed Potato Eating (Adult) – 2lb in 2mins & 14 seconds by Matthew Galli (Greenlawn)
Prizes were furnished by: All Star Bowling, Pasta Chips, Southampton Publick House Restaurant, Hush Bistro, Buckley’s Irish Pub, Magic Fountain Homemade Ice Cream, and CJ’s American Grill. Contest photos can be found on the event website, LIPotatoFest.com, photos by Karl Mischler.
The Long Island Potato Festival looks forward to returning next year with more contests and even more contestants. If you think you got what it takes to be top tater, make sure to register early as space will be limited. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled to www.LIPotatoFest.com for updates on when the 2nd Annual Long Island Potato Festival will begin to sprout.
The Long Island Potato Festival would once again like to thank all of the contestants, judges, sponsors, volunteers, exhibitors, prize donors, attendees, and staff that made all of this possible. You say Po-Tay-Toe, we say Way-To-Go!