Starch Madness 2015: And the #1 Spud Is…

Congrats to the winner of our ultimate fried potato bracket!

starch madness winner

Click to view larger. / Photo by Toan Trinh

After four furious, shocking, and ultimately, fruitful weeks of potato puns and one-on-one competition, our Starch Madness tournament came down to this: two worthy, duck-fat-fried dishes from Shojo and Commonwealth.

And the winner is…Shojo, for their mapo tofu and kimchi cheese-smothered duck fat fries, a.k.a. their “Shadowless” fries. Congrats!

To get to this point, we experienced upsets like number-one-seeded Saus, a restaurant centered around succulent Belgian-style frites, bounced in the first round. We saw vindication for enduring classics like Trina’s Starlite’s tater tots and Cambridge Commons’ sweet potato fries. We collectively hailed exciting newcomers like Rosebud Kitchen (home fries) and The Bacon Truck (“The Hangover” sandwich). And we witnessed UBurger, the underdog equivalent of the 2010 Butler Bulldogs or the 2014 Wichita State Shockers, march all the way to the elite eight.

Even better, profits from the finalists are going to a good cause. When informed about their Starch Madness glory, both Shojo and Commonwealth agreed to up the ante. Not only did they donate proceeds from their “Shadowless” duck fat fries and steak-cut fries, respectively, they each pledged to donate $1,000 to one another’s respective charities (Shojo: Housing Families; Commonwealth: the Greater New England chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society). To thank them for this contribution, Boston will also make a $1,000 donation.

All and all, it’s been a lot of fun, but to the victor go the starch-laden spoils. (Shojo, we’ll be in touch on how to get your most-coveted prize.)

Below, learn more about Shojo and Commonwealth’s celebration-worthy deep-fried potato dishes in Boston.


The ‘Shadowless’ Duck Fat Fries at Shojo
We catch up with Chef Mark O’Leary, who shows us how they make Shojo’s fries a cut above the rest.


The Duck Fat Fries at Commonwealth
Chef Nookie Postal walks us through how Commonwealth’s duck fat fries get to be so delicious.