Sweet Basil takes top honors at 14th annual American Lamb Cookoff at Taste of Vail | VailDaily.com

Sweet Basil takes top honors at 14th annual American Lamb Cookoff at Taste of Vail

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Sweet Basil took top honors at the Taste of Vail Lamb Cookoff, sponsored by the American Lamb Board.

Chef-owner Paul Anders, of Sweet Basil, took home top honors at the 14th annual American Lamb Cook-Off at Taste of Vail for his Oaxacan Lamb Barbacoa, Mezcal Salsa Borracha, Navajo Fry Bread and Watercress.

Second place went to Beano's Cabin and third place went to Revolution/Hooked. Beano's Cabin was also awarded the People's Choice award.

The lamb cook-off, sponsored by the American Lamb Board and held throughout the streets of Vail Village, showcased 22 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.

"The barbacoa was traditional, made with banana leaves, adobo and Mexican spices," Anders said. "We topped it with mezcal salsa and served it on Navajo fry bread. I love tortillas, but I wanted to serve something more original. What is cool about the fry bread is that it is airy and light."

The Taste of Vail took place April 4-8.

"We are always amazed how the Vail Valley chefs showcase leg of lamb in diverse and innovative dishes," said Megan Wortman, executive director of the Denver-based American Lamb Board. "Many of this year's dishes highlighted global flavors and trends — from Chargrilled Lamb Rogan Josh to Roasted Lamb Banh Mi to Smokey Lamb Ramen Bowl."

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Additional restaurants that participated in the 14th annual American Lamb Cook-Off include:

Bistro 14

bol

Elway's

Flame

Frost Creek

Game Creek Restaurant

La Tour Restaurant

Leonora

Mid-Vail

Mountain Standard

Sauce on the Creek

Terra Bistro

The 10th

Toscanini

Two Elk

vin48

Vintage

White Bison

Wildwood Smokehouse