Thursday, December 23, 2010
Vanzant’s menu at Yellowstone included truffle fried potatoes
By LINDA JONES
Shawn Vanzant, 22, who lives just outside Potts Camp on Highway 349, likes to cook and he likes food.
He learned to cook with his grandmother Bernice Vanzant and his stepmother Brandi Vanzant.
His aunt, Linda Terraciano of Roberts, Montana, also helped him out with his cooking -- she told him about a seasonal job as a chef at Yellowstone National Park’s Lake Yellowstone Hotel restaurant.
Vanzant, who attended West Union High School in Union County, spent two months this past summer in the hotel’s kitchen, learning to cook many exotic and expensive dishes.
He began working in the kitchens at Yellowstone with salads and desserts and moved on to the flat top grill, making salmon, halibut, ahai tuna, sea bass and many mixed game dishes, including antelope, bison and elk. The menu included many Italian dishes as well -- Parmesan chicken and Italian sausage with peppers and onions, along with lamb loaf (instead of meatloaf).
One of the dishes Vanzant prepared at Yellowstone has become one of the more popular in some of the local area restaurants, including around Oxford.
Truffle fried potatoes are the newest, expensive sensational dish making the rounds.
The potatoes are fried in truffle oil with salt and pepper and spinkled with shaved truffles.
Truffles are an edible fungi and taste similiar to a musty mushroom. They are rooted out by trained pigs in France, found around tree roots.
White truffles cost around $1,000 a pound and black truffles are generally $300-$600 a pound.
Vanzant, back in Potts Camp after the summer in Yellowstone Park, plans to go back next year.
“I’m going as often as they’ll hire me!” he said.
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