Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Food Farmer Earth: Hash + Escapade = Hashcapade!

I was drooling all over myself doing this interview with Clark Haass for Food Farmer Earth, not just because he's bright, handsome and well-spoken, but because the dude can (and did) whip up a mighty fine plate of hash.

Clark Haass is bent on world domination, but not in the evil-overlord, bwa-ha-ha sense. He wants to bring the world to the table over a heaping plate of hash.

A senior business development manager for Intel, he spends his working hours in the capital division overseeing investments and acquisitions. But after work and on weekends, Clark Kent-like, he becomes Master of Hashcapades, crusader for a food he considers misunderstood and underappreciated.

It may have something to do with growing up in a family of six kids, where his mom took a break during the summer to go to art school, leaving his dad in charge of the tribe. Clark became known for what he called his “gourmet cinnamon toast,” recalling that later on his dad also taught him to cut up a chicken and make dinner.

Eventually Haass became a father of three himself, saying his “aha!” moment with hash came when he and his family went to the now-closed Roux restaurant in Portland and he ordered their trout hash. Its silky, lush texture combined with the salty smoked fish was an epiphany, and he vowed to recreate the dish at home.

Of his first efforts, he said, “It was good but it didn’t have the right combination of spices.” Single-mindedly, he kept working at it, substituting smoked salmon for the trout and adding crême fraiche, dill and half sweet potatoes, half white potatoes to achieve the the dish he’d imagined.

Read the rest of the story.

Watch part two of this interview, Hash Around the World. In this week's kitchen segment, the multi-talented Michele Knaus shares her recipe for a classic Red Flannel Hash with Corned Beef. To get regular updates on local producers featured on Food Farmer Earth, consider a free subscription.

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