New gluten-free, vegan and sustainable potato peel snack
By: Evan Milberg
Almost two weeks ago, Chef Malcolm Riley Gay’s girlfriend found out her future diet would consist solely of gluten-free food. “She’s still in the ‘I can’t believe I can’t eat these things’ phase,” says Gay. “She’s Italian. So she’s like ‘but…pasta’ and I have to tell her we have to get the rice pasta.”
But if Gay’s Kickstarter campaign is a success, his girlfriend will also be able to eat potato skins. Gay’s developed a potato skin snack, Spud Rinds, that is gluten-free, vegan and sustainable. Of all the parts of a potato, Gay says the skin has the most nutritional value with vitamin C, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
Working around dietary restrictions is a familiar position for Gay. His mother is also gluten-free and as a sous chef for Windsor Mountain International, a summer camp in New Hampshire, he accommodated kids with allergies, people who kept kosher and staff that ate vegan and vegetarian diets. He believes that knowing how to accommodate everyone comes with territory of being a chef.
“The things I’m the most interested in are taking things that are typically thrown away or that we don’t use so much in modern Western culture and using those to make food,” says Gay, who is currently a personal chef at PlateDate.
There is a lengthy process that goes into making the skins, which is detailed in the Kickstarter video. Before they are cut and fried, the potatoes are peeled using what Gay calls an “abrasive drum.” After the peels are lightly dehydrated, he creates dough using the peels and several types of food (like mashed potatoes) that act as a binder. After the dough comes together, he puts it through a pasta machine and cuts it into triangles. Finally, they go in the fryer.
Gay says he made 10 prototypes for the dough used to bind the peels together. The peels themselves come from Route 11 potato chips, a company based in Mt. Jackson and he uses the kitchen of Ridgewell’s Catering. He plans for 2- and 8-ounce bags in four flavors: sea salt, hot and spicy barbecue, Baltimore crab boil and loaded baked potato (the only option that isn’t vegan). Gay hopes to reach his Kickstarter goal of $15,000 by March 10. / Spud Rinds on Kickstarter