After a year off, Lamb Jam returned to Seattle this past weekend, with 16 chefs preparing dishes utilizing different parts of the lamb. In the “it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it” spirit, I joined a group of my food writing colleagues at the judging table to pick winners in four categories—Ground Lamb, Leg, Shank, and Shoulder—as well as an overall Best in Show winner to go to the SAVOR the Central Coast Food and Wine Festival sponsored by Sunset magazine in September 2014.
The Best in Show winner: Sarah Lorenzen of Andaluca for her fresh lamb sausage in socca (a chickpea flour crepe) with pomegranate tomato jam, pictured above. Lorenzen was the winner in the Ground Lamb category, which also produced the winner of the People’s Choice Award: Bobby Moore of Barking Frog, for his lamb chorizo sweet potato croquettes with maple gastrique.
Other category winners included:
- Leg: Jason Stoneburner of Stoneburner for his lamb sausage “banh mi” with preserved green cayenne and cucumber/pickled relish
- Shank: Dan Gilmore of Hunt Club for his spice-rubbed confit lamb shank with sage grits, pickled chanterelle relish, and stewed tomato sauce
- Shoulder: Sabastian Carosi of Muddy Waters (Vancouver, WA) for his lamb shoulder burger with wild local chanterelles, truffle catsup, and Beecher’s Flagship cheese on a homemade sesame seed bun
Attendees (the people in the People’s Choice Award) enjoyed lamb dishes from 15 chefs in the state, plus a build-your-own lamb nacho and taco bar from Mark Hosack of Gracie’s in Portland, Best in Show winner of last year’s Lamb Jam in Portland. The event also featured local beer, wine, and spirits, as well as a lamb butchery demonstration and some non-lamb bites to eat.
Check out the photos below for a look at all of the lamb dishes in this year’s Lamb Jam competition.
Ground Lamb: fresh lamb sausage in socca with pomegranate tomato jam by Sarah Lorenzen of Andaluca. This won the category, along with Best in Show.
Ground Lamb: lamb meatballs by Don Curtis of Volterra.
Ground Lamb: lamb cassoulet dog by Michael LaRoche of Piggyback Deli.
Ground Lamb: lamb chorizo sweet potato croquettes with maple gastrique by Bobby Moore of Barking Frog. This won the People’s Choice award.
Leg: smoked leg, “cassoulet” crepinette, black garlic reduction, and Douglas fir jelly by Jeff Maxfield of SkyCity at the Needle.
Leg: lamb “tots” by Chris Opsata of Brass Tacks.
Leg: lamb sausage “banh mi” with preserved green cayenne and cucumber/pickled radish by Jason Stoneburner of Stoneburner. This won the best of category. (And it was one of my favorite dishes of the event.)
Shank: spice-rubbed confit lamb shank with sage grits, pickled chanterelle relish, and stewed tomato sauce by Dan Gilmore of Hunt Club. This won the best of category.
Shank: herban navarin trifle by Amanda Herrera of Fresh Bistro.
Shank: lamb shank braised with Chimay, with sweet grits, Beechers truckle and candied peppers by Craig Hetherington of TASTE Restaurant.
Shank: mushroom-braised lamb shank with rice beans, wild mushrooms, roasted shallots, and chives by Liam Spence of Lola.
Shoulder: braised lamb shoulder terrine with Theo chocolate consomme, roasted pear, and candied cocoa nib relish by Peter Birk of BOKA Kitchen & Bar.
Shoulder: lamb shoulder burger with wild local chanterelles, truffle catsup, and Beecher’s Flagship cheese on a homemade sesame seed bun by Sabastian Carosi of Muddy Waters. This won the best of category.
Shoulder: braised lamb shoulder on a johnny cake by Steve Navarre of Local 360. (Photo courtesy of Jenise Silva.)
Shoulder: smoked lamb chili with cornbread by Gavin Stevenson of The Georgian. (This was one of my favorite dishes of the event.)