Lamb Jam Thank You Ma’am!

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Slow Roasted Breast of Lamb with Medjool Dates, Pine Nuts, Cauliflower and Petite Anise Hyssop
Chef Champe Speidel – Persimmon / RI

When I first heard about the 4th Annual Lamb Jam in Boston, I immediately erased everything from my calendar that day…only to then realize it was being held on my birthday. “Even better!” I thought to myself. There was no way I was going to miss this epic event…not even with a minor snowstorm on the horizon. Hundreds more, determined and hungry, just like me, gathered to celebrate the other red meat at the Charles Hotel earlier this week.

In a nutshell, here’s how the Lamb Jam went down: A total of 17 talented chefs throughout New England (RI/MA/ME) aimed to create the best lamb dish imaginable using Belly & Breast, Leg, Shank, or Shoulder – dividing them into categories based on the cut of meat. We were rooting for the home team as three chefs from Rhode Island made their first appearance at Lamb Jam. However, the odds were in Boston’s favor with 12 chefs competing for the crown. And as we later learned, they were a force to be reckoned with!

Lamb Jam turned out to be one of the best food events I’ve ever attended. Imagine being on an episode of Top Chef, going from station to station tasting one flawless dish after another. Sounds awesome right? It was extremely difficult to pick a clear-cut winner, so here are a few of our favorites along with some other highlights from Sunday night.

lamb3Braised Lamb Shank Ragout with Bread, Lamb and Kale Meatballs, Golden Raisins and Curried Cloumage Cheese

Chef Matt Gennuso, Chez Pascal / RI

For the record, I voted for this as my favorite dish. But I swear I’m not bias. πŸ™‚

lamb6Crispy Lamb Shoulder Rillettes with Greek Yogurt, Aromatic Herbs and Curry

Chef Beau Vestal – New Rivers / RI

lamb1Slow Cooked Lamb with Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Barley, Narragansett Ricotta and Crispy Parsnip Chips

Chef Jim Solomon – The Fireplace / MA

lamb9Crispy Lamb Leg Croquet with Pickled Winter Root Vegetable

Chef Rich Garcia – 606 Congress / MA

lamb5Winner of Best in ShoulderChef Cassie Piuma – Oleana / MA

Moroccan BBQ Lamb Roll with Pickled Cabbage, Goat Cheese and Fried Sweet Potato

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Winner of Best in Shank
– Chef Brian Rae – Rialto / MA

Lamb Shank Fritter with Garlic Chive Spatzle, Blood Orange, Fried Rosemary and Lamb Jus

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Winner of Best in Leg – Chef Brian Reyelt from Citizen / MA

Adobo Lamb Leg Taco w/ Pickeled Onion & Queso

lamb8Winner of just about everything else, lol (Best in Breast, Best in Show, and People’s Choice) – Chef Michael Scelfo – Russel House Tavern / MA

Smoked and Braised Lamb Belly on a Steamed Bun with Pickled Radishes and Herb Salad

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I’d like to give a special thanks to BostonChefs for organizing this awesome event, the Charles Hotel for hosting it, and the American Lamb Board for giving us something to celebrate. We can’t wait until next year!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a slideshow with lots more action from Lamb Jam 2013. Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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