Back on the Road AgainMay 20, 2012
After three weeks in Chicago, the Tater Team was starting to feel like landlocked pirates! Needless to say, all of them were a bit excited last Monday as they hoisted the anchor, eased the sheet, swung the jib starboard and set sail for new territories beyond the horizon… or at least that was the plan. Chicago decided to throw one last speed bump their way as a parting gift. In a sense, we could not quite “ease the sheet”. So who did they call? Stevenson Crane of course! The amazing crew went above and beyond to ensure the Big Idaho Potato was sea worthy while also making sure that the crew was fed and hydrated. Alas they were able to set sail! Now that things were the way they should be, the Famous Idaho Potato Tour was back on track for one of the most exciting weeks yet. Three states and three media appearances later and the Team felt as if the tour may have peaked a little earlier than expected.
Stevenson Crane’s finest to the rescue; the genuine crew running the show at Stevenson Crane; just a good shot that pretty much sums it up
Their first port after leaving Chicago was Indianapolis. Race fans know this as the home of the Indianapolis 500, which the Tater Team missed by a couple of weekends. Nonetheless, they were there for some pre-celebrations with Kroger and to help Chef Greg Hardesty promote an Idaho Potato Dinner at his restaurant, Recess. Their first two mornings in Indianapolis were highlighted by morning news segments on Fox 59 and WISH TV 8. It was at these stations that the Tater Team got to meet Chef Greg Hardesty as he prepared for his five course Idaho Potato dinner. He spoke about the benefits and varieties of Idaho Potatoes and even teased the audience with the idea that he had made a vanilla ice cream out of Purple Peruvian Idaho Potatoes.
Paul smooth talking Fox 59 in Indianapolis; Chef Greg Hardesty breaking down the different types of potatoes; Greg Hardesty’s neighborhood fine-dining establishment
Every year Kroger has a little get-together for the managers and the assistant managers of their stores. Employees gather from all over the region to let the work stress melt away under the Indiana sun and share in some good times with their regional counterparts. This year they had to have the Big Idaho Potato make an appearance. I mean think about it. The biggest race of the year; Kroger’s biggest party of the year; it only makes sense that they get to celebrate with the biggest potato EVER! The Big Idaho Potato was out on display next to the Idaho Potato Bar and watched down on Kroger’s finest all through the night. There was immaculate food, fondue, cornhole boards, a race track, a photo booth, raffles and, to top it all off, a Kroger-oke competition. The Tater Team mixed and mingled with the crowd and partook in most of the festivities. Kaiti felt Ellis’ wrath while playing cornhole, and she did not fair much better on the race car tracks. In her frustration, and bad judgment, she began throwing the bean bags at Ellis instead of at the board. Fortunately for him, she was just as bad at that as she was at the original game itself.
The Big Idaho Potato next to the potato bar; setting up for the show and the cornhole sets where Kaiti lost it all; don’t mind if I fon-do!
The crew departed Indianapolis on Thursday after a quick stop at Marsh #83. Heading south, they arrived that afternoon in Louisville (also known as Luh-ville, Lew-ville, and Lull-vull), where they would be staying at the most elegant and historic hotel in the city: The Brown Hotel. To add to the boating references, the hotel made them feel like they were staying on the Titanic… the part of the boat where Rose slept, not Jack… and before it hit the iceberg. On Friday morning the Tater Team got up at 4:40 AM, that’s right in the morning, to meet the hotel’s chef, Laurent Geroli, newscaster Keith Kaiser, and the rest of the WDRB News crew. Any feelings of resentment towards their early morning wake-up call quickly dissipated upon meeting these delightful characters in the most fun broadcast to date. The morning was broken up into several segments that touched on the tour’s mission and then went into a special Idaho potato dish prepared by the wonderful Chef Geroli. On air the segments were a success. Mr. Kaiser masterfully orchestrated the Tater Team and allowed for them to deliver key messages in a fun, interactive way while creating fun events such as rose carving, potato peeling (where Ellis once again demonstrated his skills), potato gun shooting, and identifying Ellis as a Matt Leblanc look-a-like. Behind the scenes the story continued. In a short time bonds were built and memories were made. Both were unforgettable and set the bar high for all future events… Good thing the Tater Team likes a challenge.
The Big Idaho Potato outside of The Brown Hotel; the luxurious setting inside The Brown Hotel; our early morning set up; Chef Laurent Geroli preparing a frittata; Kaiti demonstrating that she never took a gun safety course; Keith Kaiser showing off his beach body
The Famous Idaho Potato Tour wrapped up the week with a stop at a Kroger’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. The people were warm and welcoming while the weather was unforgiving and hot. The tour’s driver, Paul, got a taste of what was to come this summer, and made the executive decision to banish himself to the confines of the air-conditioned cab. You can be assured, though, that Kaiti and Ellis will be vigilantly looking for the opportunity to steal his truck keys at every event. So be sure to keep following their adventures with another promising week starting off in Ohio.
Idaho Vandal comes out to visit his home pride in Indiana; an eager fan gets carried away with his prop; Paul tries to avoid the heat… while wearing pantsThis entry was posted in Tour Blog. Bookmark the permalink. ← The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck delivers ‘Great Big Potato Truck’ showcasing giant potato visits Cleveland →