Katherine Alford's Smoked Trout and Potato Salad

The judge on Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown answers our questions and gives us a tasty smoked trout and potato salad recipe.
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Katherine Alford’s Smoked Trout and Potato Salad

The judge on Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown answers our questions and gives us a tasty smoked trout and potato salad recipe.

-Francine Segan

Katherine Alford

I recently spent an afternoon peeking at the behind-the-scenes world of the Food Network. I got the chance to chat with Katherine Alford, the Vice President of the Food Network’s Test Kitchen. 

Katherine started with the Food Network in 2000, and currently oversees the busy Test Kitchens, where the recipes are developed for many of the network’s projects including Food Network Magazine, numerous cookbooks, TV shows, promotional  initiatives, and recipes for FoodNetwork.com.

On top of her duties running the Test Kitchen, Katherine is also a judge on the mega popular TV show Ultimate Recipe Showdown with Guy Fieri.

Read Guy Fieri’s Smashing Acorn Squash Soup with Pistachio Parmesan Crostini

I grilled Katherine about some of her personal experiences with cooking. Here is what she had to say:

What’s the most embarrassing thing in your fridge?
Weight Watchers ice cream, I eat all day long and I am CONSTANTLY watching my weight.

What’s the junk food you can’t resist?

What was your biggest cooking disaster?
When I was working in a restaurant many years ago, I was alone on a Sunday making a bunch of terrines. These are cooked in a hot water bath (a large pan of boiling water).  They were on the upper shelf in a deck oven, and when I was taking them out of the oven, I poured super hot water down my shirt – ouch!

What was your best meal ever?
I ate lunch at Joel Robuchon’s in Paris with my dear friend, Ludo.

Who would you like to cook for?
My daughter, Abigail. She is a super fussy eater – I can’t wait till she will really let me cook for her! 

What are 5 ingredients that every cook should have in their kitchen?
Extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt and pepper in a pepper mill, fresh herbs, an intense grating or crumbly cheese like parmesan, grana, cotija, feta, or an aged tofu, and some kind of chili that’s either fresh, dried, or in a paste.

What is your least favorite ingredient to work with?
Calf’s liver! It’s just not one of my favorite things. When I worked at the Quilted Giraffe, I had to clean a whole liver ever other day for over a year. Since it was a 4-star restaurant, it was a very meticulous job, removing every bit of membrane, etc. Ultimately, I got really good at it and took a Zen-like pleasure in it. But at the end of the day, I have done enough liver in my life.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Sea water jello from Japan, and duck brain with a Chinese chef.

If you only had 15 minutes to prepare a meal, what would you make?
Sautéed fish with tomatoes and fresh herbs. Or, grilled cheese with amazing bread and cheese with sliced tomatoes on the side. Or, eggs in any form. I love them!

Go to the next page for Katherine’s Smoked Trout and Potato Salad recipe…

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