Potatoes USA’s complimentary online curriculum, “Potato University“, is designed for busy foodservice professionals who want to learn more about how to incorporate all types of potatoes – from fresh, to frozen, to dehydrated – into the menu. These online classes are an excellent resource packed with valuable potato insights, and they can be taken any time at one’s own pace. Operators, cooks and anyone interested in potatoes can learn about how to prepare potatoes perfectly – mastering the basics, discovering new techniques and much more.
“While initially designed for foodservice professionals who are already in the field, anyone interested in learning more about U.S. potatoes can take this self-paced course,” explains Kendra Keenan, Global Marketing Manager, Foodservice at Potatoes USA, in this video. She says the online course is suitable for culinary students, produce distributors, potato industry newbies, and simply anyone interested in becoming a ‘potato grad‘.
“We’ve had great success since the launch,” says Kendra. “Since the launch there have been 300 enrollments from various areas of the food service industry, from quick service restaurant chains, restaurant groups, universities, catering chefs, broadline distributors, food contract management companies, culinary school programs, potato industry organizations, and even retailers.”
Upon enrolling and activating an online potato account, users are greeted with a dashboard that displays the different tabs of the platform features. This includes learning module information, course progress, rewards received for completing modules, and a summary of points earned.
The first course available at Potato University is “Potatoes 101”. This course takes spud students on a farm-to-fork learning journey about potato basics such as the seven fresh potato types, potato formats including fresh, frozen, and dehydrated – and how best to store potatoes. The course also includes modules on proper preparation techniques, potato nutrition, and current menu trends at food service, explains Kendra.
To keep things interesting, points are rewarded for different levels of engagement. The gamification tool in the platform awards points for interaction, such as course completion, and this leads to eventually earning potato gear to top it off upon completing the course.
Spud chefs seeking continuing education credits can submit Potatoes 101 for two continuing education credits. Potatoes 101 is certified by the top food service industry organizations, the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and the Research Chefs Association (RCA).