11 Ways Celebrity Chefs Make Mashed Potatoes

Because of their status as a side, mashed potatoes aren't always seen as the star of the dinner table. Nonetheless, one survey suggests that mashed potatoes, at the least, should be given a lot more credit for their popularity. In a poll conducted by YouGov, about 1,300 Americans were asked to respond to a series of questions in which they had to select the "better" of two classic Thanksgiving foods. The inquiry went something along the lines of: Do you prefer apple pie or mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes or gravy? 

Ultimately, the results revealed that turkey — also known as the true champion of Thanksgiving — won the position of the most popular plate within a whopping 83% of its match-ups. However, mashed potatoes didn't finish far behind. In fact, mashed potatoes actually landed the position of second place, beating out its competitors 78% of the time and cementing its title as one of America's favorite holiday eats.

Considering the massive popularity of mashed potatoes, it's essential to know how to prepare them well. To leave table guests with an experience they may never forget, home cooks and other kitchen aficionados might even consider trying their hands at an elevated mashed potato recipe. Celebrity chefs, from Joël Robuchon to Luke Mangan, have shared their tips for making this side especially delicious. By exploring their recipes, you could make the perfect mashed potatoes for your Thanksgiving menu — or for any other time of year.

1. Joël Robuchon

When it comes to mashed potatoes, perhaps no celebrity chef can compare to the late Joël Robuchon. Over the course of his lifetime, Robuchon earned 31 Michelin stars — well more than any other chef in the food guide's history (per Escoffier). And while he could prepare any number of incredible meals, Robuchon considered the mashed potato to be his masterpiece. As reported by The Washington Post, the chef once famously declared: "I owe everything to these mashed potatoes. Maybe it's a little bit of nostalgia, Proust's madeleines. Everyone has in his memory the mashed potatoes of his mother, the mashed potatoes of his grandmother."

Unlike some mashed potatoes, which rely on complex ingredients for flavor, Robuchon's version is quite simple in terms of components. As reported by Time, the chef made his specialty using only four ingredients: Potatoes, butter, milk, and salt. At first glance, these elements might seem pretty basic. However, Robuchon prepared them in a more complex way. He started out by boiling the potatoes with their skin still on. After, he would peel them while they were still hot.

To get the right consistency, Robuchon never let a blender or a general food processor do the mashing. Instead, he relied on a food mill or a potato ricer to produce the smoothest possible potato purée. Unlike a food processor, a food mill will capture odd bits of potato skin, keeping it out of the final product (via Chef's Corner Store).

2. Andrew Rudd

Joël Robuchon isn't the only celebrity chef to ever emphasize the importance of using the right equipment to make mashed potatoes. Irish TV chef, Andrew Rudd, also has a preference for using proper mashing tools. As Rudd advised in an interview with RSVP Live, "Cook your potatoes as normal [when preparing mashed potatoes] ... If you have a ricer, make sure you use it." However, the chef also conceded that there are alternative mashing devices available to folks who don't want to invest in a new machine. "A hand blender or a paddle are also great tools. My mam and dad used these for years," Rudd explained.

However, unlike Robuchon, who relied on only four ingredients, Rudd told RSVP that he adds several types of seasoning to his mashed potatoes. His recipe even includes something of a secret ingredient: Nutmeg. "Get a small saucepan and add in cream, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg," the chef instructed. "Put the potato on the hob and gradually add that mix with [a] spatula."

Compellingly, Rudd's choice to add nutmeg to his mashed potatoes will make the side look more appealing. According to private chef Joni Sare, the color of your food can impact how tasty it looks. In her blog, Chef Joni, Sare revealed that "contrasting colors" or "complimentary colors" are key to a meal's presentation. In Rudd's recipe, the brown of the nutmeg adds shading to otherwise monochrome yellow mashed potatoes, making them look more enticing. 

3. Anthony Bourdain

Mashed potatoes and butter go together, like ham and cheese, or peanut butter and jelly. The two ingredients are just one of those classic combinations that never seem to get old. The magic of this pairing was something that the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain seemed to understand thoroughly. According to Insider, the former star of the long-running show "No Reservations" didn't just add a smidge of butter to his potatoes — he added sticks at a time. To be more accurate, Bourdain would reportedly shoot for a ratio of one and a half sticks of butter per pound of potatoes.

If that seems like a lot of butter, it's because it is. Upon trying out Bourdain's recipe, the journalist for Insider reported, "No matter how hard I tried, I could not mix all of the butter [into the potatoes]." However, there are some tricks that you can use to avoid this hiccup. For one thing, don't add pre-melted butter to your potatoes. Instead, keep the ingredient cold and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.

Ultimately, this strategy works due to the unique composition of butter. When this delightful substance melts, its components separate, allowing milk solids to trickle one way and fat to trickle another (via Bon Appétit). Consequently, adding cold butter to your mashed potatoes allows the substance to spread through the dish evenly. In the end, this allows you to make mashed potatoes with minimum mixing problems.

4. Emeril Lagasse

If you aren't in the mood to soak your mashed potatoes in butter, you might consider trying Emeril Lagasse's recipe. The American celebrity chef and cookbook author doesn't add nearly as much butter to his mashed potatoes and instead relies on his own secret ingredient to add flavor: Garlic. As reported by Insider, the garlic component in Emeril's mashed potatoes adds a certain level of complexity to an otherwise simple side. 

While adding garlic to your mashed potatoes might sound like an easy way to boost their flavor, you should try to avoid some common garlic mistakes. For one thing, you should avoid buying pre-minced garlic, which never tastes as fresh as the garlic you mince at home. For another, you should be certain to pick a high-quality bulb in the supermarket. According to cooking show sensation, Rachael Ray, there are a few sure-fire ways to determine that your garlic is good to eat. As Ray advised on Rachael, Rachael Ray's blog, "Don't use garlic once it's dimpled, sprouting, and dried out — it'll be more bitter." She later added, "I like to buy garlic that's extremely firm and heavy."

To ace Emeril's recipe, be sure to start off by smashing and caramelizing your garlic. By crushing your cloves, rather than chopping them, your garlic will emit a more powerful flavor that will prevent it from getting lost in the potatoes (via The Food Company). Meanwhile, the caramelization process will offset the garlic's bitterness with a touch of sweetness.

5. Gordon Ramsay

It's no secret that a lot of folks associate mashed potatoes with Thanksgiving. However, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has a mashed potatoes recipe that caters to a much greener holiday: St. Patrick's Day. As reported by Tasty, the "Hell's Kitchen" star based his mashed potatoes recipe on a classic Irish side, known as champ. 

Champ mixes components like scallions, butter, and milk into a simple potato mash, according to Onmanorama. While champ was originally developed as a way to feed a family with ingredients that were both inexpensive and available year-round, it eventually became one of the most popular sides in Ireland. In fact, the History Channel explains that champ grew to be such an Irish classic that it even became a typical St. Patrick's Day food, along with corned beef and cabbage

In Gordon Ramsay's recipe, he draws heavily from champs' ingredients to make a version of mashed potatoes that is loaded with cream and green onions. As noted in Tasty, Ramsay adds "an entire bunch" of green onions to his mashed potatoes, leaving the final product with an acidic and bitter flavor. Since the celebrity chef doesn't cook this secret ingredient, it ends up bringing an especially pungent flavor to his creation. Because of this, home cooks who love green onions will probably enjoy Ramsay's recipe. However, anyone who prefers something milder might prefer to try this recipe for mashed potatoes with garlic and chives

6. Ina Garten

While some chefs like to get complicated in the kitchen, celebrity chef Ina Garten prefers to keep things simple. According to Tasty, the best-selling cookbook author likes to make her mashed potatoes using a few high-quality ingredients. She reportedly begins the process by boiling some russet potatoes in salty water. Afterward, she purées them and adds a few key components: Milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, and butter. While this process might seem easy, there is a catch. In her recipe, Garten specifically calls for the use of "good butter." In other words, your run-of-the-mill fare probably won't do.

To follow Garten's recipe as closely as possible, you should head to the grocery store and choose your butter brand carefully. If you have no clue how to achieve this, fear not! Minerva Dairy co-owner, Venae Watts, says that identifying high-quality butter is as easy as following a couple of tricks. In an interview for Salon, Watts recommended that consumers look for butter brands that are labeled "small batch" or "slow churn." 

This is because large, industrial butter factories often churn large quantities of butter at a super fast pace. According to Watts, this ultra-fast churning can cause air pockets to form inside the butter. "When air is trapped in the butter, it loses texture and flavor," she told Salon. By purchasing "slow churn" butter for your mashed potatoes, you can ensure that your side will have a creamier consistency and a richer taste. 

7. Bobby Flay

There's nothing quite like a creamy spoonful of mashed potatoes, and, for celebrity chef Bobby Flay, the element of creaminess is key. Using the Food Network Kitchen app, the TV personality hosted a cooking class called "Favorite Mashed Potatoes." During the session, Flay revealed his secret ingredient for mashed potatoes: Crème fraîche. According to the chef, this rich ingredient does a fantastic job of giving mashed potatoes that smooth, creamy texture that so many people love. 

If you are interested in trying this unique take on mashed potatoes, be sure not to add too much crème fraîche to your mixture. Flay recommends adding just half a cup of crème fraîche for every three pounds of potatoes. Additionally, he warns against using this delicious component too early on. Per the chef, the best moment to add crème fraîche to your potatoes is after they have been thoroughly mashed and mixed with butter and cream. 

While crème fraîche certainly is delicious, it's not the sort of ingredient that every home cook will keep in their fridge. If you are in the mood for creamy mashed potatoes but are out of crème fraîche, don't worry. You can always try making these creamy, creamy mashed potatoes. This recipe replaces Bobby Flay's key ingredient with a secret weapon of its own: Whipping cream. This component won't just give your potatoes a rich flavor, but it will also make them fluffy.

8. Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri's cooking methods have the potential to spice up your mashed potatoes — literally. Unlike other chefs, whose mashed potatoes are reminiscent of homemade family recipes, Fieri goes for an edgier flavor. The Emmy award-winning TV personality makes mashed potatoes with a super spicy secret ingredient: Wasabi powder. And, apparently, he uses this potent ingredient in the relatively high ratio of four teaspoons per two and a half pounds of potatoes. 

Some home cooks might wonder if Fieri's mashed potatoes really taste so spicy. After all, wouldn't the cream and butter from the potatoes cut the heat of the wasabi? Fascinatingly, the answer to this question is: Not significantly. The reason is that wasabi has a unique chemistry, which is quite different from the makeup of many other common spicy foods. While hot peppers, like jalapeños, get their spiciness from a component called capsaicin, wasabi gets its burn from something called allyl isothiocyanate (via Just Enough Heat). In practical terms, this means that, although dairy can neutralize the spiciness of hot peppers, it doesn't have the same effect on wasabi. 

Because of this, Fieri's mashed potato recipe is not for the faint of heart. However, folks who aren't used to consuming spicy foods might be pleased to know that wasabi has its own spiciness antidote: Apple cider vinegar (per The Seattle Times). Because of this, you might want to consider serving these spicy mashed potatoes with a side salad covered in an apple cider-based vinaigrette.

9. Tyler Florence

While Guy Fieri's mashed potatoes recipe highlights the taste of wasabi, television host Tyler Florence makes a version that focuses more on the potatoes themselves. In an article for Food Network (via Showbiz CheatSheet), Florence revealed his strong preference for a specific type of potato. "When I'm making mashed potatoes there's only one potato that I use, and that's a Yukon Gold potato," the TV personality explained. Florence went on to say that Yukon Gold potatoes are "the king of all potatoes" due to their smooth consistency and dash of sweetness. 

Florence clearly loves making mashed potatoes with Yukon Golds, but that doesn't mean he will cook with any Yukon Golds. In fact, the celebrity chef has other criteria for deciding which potatoes make the cut for his recipe. Primarily, he won't make mashed potatoes with tubers of different sizes because they won't cook evenly. At first glance, Florence might sound picky, but his advice is sound. By boiling potatoes that are more or less the same shape and size, you will have more control over the consistency of your final product.

Interestingly, Florence's choice of using Yukon Gold potatoes might also be right on point. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Cropwatch, Yukon Gold potatoes were only released to the public in 1980. This yellow tuber didn't become popular immediately since many people viewed it as a "specialty" or "gourmet" ingredient. While these potatoes are more common now, Yukon Golds maintain their uniquely rich flavor.

10. Jet Tila

Tyler Florence isn't the only chef who believes that certain types of potatoes render better results. California-based celebrity chef Jet Tilakamonkul, known as Jet Tila, also finds that some potatoes are just better than others when it comes to making mashed potatoes. In fact, as Tila revealed in an article on Rachael, he finds that choosing the right type of potato is a "critical step" for making mashed potatoes that are actually "fluffy." And, like Florence, Tila showed a predilection for the Yukon Gold, although it's not the only tuber that he recommends. "Start with a starchy potato like Yukon gold or russet, not a waxy potato like red skin," Tila wrote.

While it might seem odd for Tila to warn against using red potatoes in your mash, there is actually a method to his madness. According to Martha Stewart, potatoes, such as Red Adirondacks, are considered "waxy" when they have a high moisture content and a low starch one. Prior to cooking, waxy potatoes feel hard to the touch. However, after they hit the heat, they become limp and unable to retain their form. This makes it very difficult to use them in a potato mash.

11. Luke Mangan

For Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan, making mashed potatoes is quick and easy. In a conversation with 9Honey Kitchen, the culinary sensation revealed that his favorite recipe is pretty simple. For one thing, his take on mashed potatoes contains a mere six ingredients: Desiree potatoes, salt, olive oil, cream, milk, and butter. For another, Mangan has distilled the entire instructions portion of his recipe into two sentences. "Peel [the potatoes], quarter them, and then flush all the starch through cold water until the water is clear again," Mangan told 9Honey Kitchen. "Then add a pinch of salt, boil it, drain it and add olive oil and a bit of butter."

Mangan's quick and easy mashed potatoes recipe is the ideal side for a busy weekday dinner menu. The best part is that you can easily pair it with plenty of other mains. For example, this 55-minute classic meatloaf recipe combines perfectly with a side of creamy mashed potatoes. Alternatively, you could serve it alongside some fast-yet-fancy 20-minute seared pork chops.