Suncadia’s Portals Wins Seattle’s Lamb Jam

lamb jam seattleA number of popular Seattle-area restaurants served up luscious dishes at yesterday’s Lamb Jam event, but it was lesser-known Portals at Suncadia Lodge that took home the top prize.

This was the third annual Lamb Jam in Seattle, drawing big crowds as always. Participants were pleased with the amount and quality of the food and wine, the short lines, and the live entertainment and spirit of the event. Oh…and also the availability of lamb bacon.

Nineteen restaurants competed in four categories: loin, shank, leg, and shoulder. As part of the panel of judges, I sampled each dish, ranging from a tiny lamb leg cherry pistachio sausage by Mark Bodinet of Copperleaf (last year’s overall winner) to a full lamb shank by Wayne Johnson of Andaluca. I was thrilled that my top picks matched the picks of the overall panel. Here are this year’s winning dishes:


Loin category: Smoked lamb carpaccio with truffled white bean skordalia by Liam Spence of Lola (also voted the People’s Choice winner for the event)


Shank category: Braised lamb shank crepinette with truffled Yukon gold potato puree, confit chanterelle, and pickled cipollini by Bobby Moore of Barking Frog


Leg category: Lamb paillard with gnocchi torchon and spiced Nantes carrots by Jason Stoneburner of Bastille


Shoulder category: Sumac masala rubbed lamb shoulder with cauliflower puree, royal pine mushroom, and honey crisp apple by Oscar Guitron and Alex Paguaga of Portals at Suncadia Lodge (perfectly cooked meat complemented by wonderful flavors and textures)

The judging panel also voted Guitron and Paguaga’s dish as Best of Show, which means that they’ll be representing Seattle in the national Lamb Jam competition in New York. They expressed great excitement at winning the grand prize, and said, “We hope people come to Suncadia to try our food…we’re not that far from Seattle.” With this victory, they’ll soon be introducing a national audience to their cooking.

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