Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard recognized at lamb cook-off
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:
Frost on the Creek
Game Creek Restaurant
Grill on the Gore
Sauce on the Creek
Kevin Clair of Sweet Basil received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association
The Colorado Restaurant Association awarded the honors at a ceremony on Oct. 15.