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Potato Salad Perfection

- By Ari LeVaux, Flash in the Pan Columnist

dealing with a serious crew of baller chefs.

But tragically, this team is like the 1992/93 Chicago Bulls, which remained dominant even after losing Michael Jordan. Jesse Peppers the restaurant exists, Mel explained, because of her son, Chef Jesse Peppers, who died in a car crash nearly two years ago.

“The last time I saw him he came to visit me,” Mel told me. “He said it’s time that we started a family restaurant. I was going through a divorce. The boys were sick of working for other people. We all kind of needed a change. He made me promise that we would do it.”

After Jesse died, he left a larger-than-life hole. The family left Vermont and bought an old restaurant in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, and set to work bringing his idea to life. In the process, the restaurant has turned this tiny town near the continenta­l divide into a culinary destinatio­n.

Jesse was an exuberant man with a big

Serve it alongside rich and delicious main dishes. And if you have no main dish, add more meat. Makes a whole picnic load.

12 large russet potatoes

12 eggs

1 large white onion, minced

1 large red onion, minced

3 large dill pickles

2 cups celery, diced

3 cups sour cream (use normal not cultured sour cream, which is too thick)

3 cups mayo (they used Best Foods aka Hellmans, with which one can’t go wrong) ½ cup mustard

¼ cup of minced fresh dill (not to be a troublemak­er here but I use a LOT more) 2 cups chopped pork belly, bacon, burned ends, or other succulent meat 2 tablespoon­s salt

2 tablespoon­s black pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut them small — ⅜ x ⅜ ideally — and put them in a large pot. Add water to cover the potatoes and cook on high heat until they are tender but not mushy. There is nothing mushy about this recipe. Strain and set aside.

In a small pot, boil six cups of water and a half cup of vinegar. Add the eggs, return to a boil and boil for ten minutes, then move the pot to the sink with the cold water on. Pour out the hot water and flush with cold water. Then add ice and let them cool.

Start chopping all the other vegetables into a medium dice, by which point your eggs will be ready to be peeled and cut into eight pieces each. Store these in the fridge until the end. Wash off your eggy knife and cutting board.

Add the mayo, sour cream and pickles to a food processor or blender, and blend for about 90 seconds — until the pickles are atomized.

Add the onion, celery, mustard, dill, meat, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl and thoroughly combine. Add the pickle mayo and mix again. Add the potatoes, and gently mix, lifting from the bottom and carefully folding it over, so nothing gets mushed.

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 ?? ?? Potato salad and BBQ brisket. Photo by Ari LeVaux
Potato salad and BBQ brisket. Photo by Ari LeVaux

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