Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard recognized at lamb cook-off | VailDaily.com

Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard recognized at lamb cook-off

Daily staff report
Chef Martin Woods of Sweet Basil took home first place in the Taste of Vail lamb cook-off with his lamb manti with harissa, whipped curds, whey and mint.
Special to the Daily

Chef de cuisine Martin Woods and his team at Sweet Basil took home top honors at the 15th annual American Lamb Cook-Off at Taste of Vail for the lamb manti with harissa, whipped curds, whey and mint. Second place went to Beaver Creek restaurant’s Hooked and Revolution, and third place went to Splendido. Mountain Standard was awarded the People’s Choice award.

The lamb cook-off, sponsored by the American Lamb Board and held throughout the streets of Vail Village on Friday, showcased 23 of the area’s finest chefs preparing diverse dishes featuring Superior Farms Colorado leg of lamb. The lamb bites were complemented by samples from participating wineries.

“Lamb is a common protein used in handheld Turkish dumplings,” Woods said in a news release. “We marinated the lamb in a mixture of olive oil, lemon zest, dried harissa, cilantro, mint, parsley, salt and pepper overnight before grinding. We stuffed the ground lamb in the dumplings which were roasted until golden brown and then steamed in chicken stock.”

“Even after 15 years, the amazing diversity and creativity of the leg of lamb dishes by Vail chefs at the Lamb Cook-Off is always so exciting,” said Megan Wortman, executive director of the Denver-based American Lamb Board in the release. “From merguez stuffed peppers to braised lamb empanada, many of this year’s dishes highlighted unique flavors and trends and showcased the remarkable innovation by Vail Chefs.”

Additional restaurants that participated in the 15th Annual American Lamb Cook-Off include:

Bistro 14


Beano’s Cabin


Fitz Bar

Frost on the Creek

Game Creek Restaurant


Grill on the Gore

La Tour


Mid Vail


Sauce on the Creek

The 10th


Two Elk

White Bison

Wildwood Smokehouse

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