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Lamb Cook-Off at Taste of Vail

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO Colorado

VAIL – It’s the “the third coming of lamb.”The Colorado Lamb Cook-Off opens Taste of Vail, a four-day food and wine festival, Wednesday, April 11, from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. “The buzz about lamb this year is huge,” Jana Morgan, event coordinator, said. “We’re vamping it up to be the biggest, best Colorado Lamb Cook-Off ever.”Vying for the coveted title of “lamb guru,” chefs from 18 restaurants throughout the Vail Valley will be serving up samples of the tastiest lamb they can muster to ticket-buyers – as well as a panel of experts, who will judge the samples based on presentation and taste in a blind tasting. Last year’s competition was won by defending champion Thomas Newsted of Game Creek Restaurant, who prepared a Morocco-inspired Lamb Bisteeya, a savory lamb leg confit baked in phyllo with cardamom-spiced green papaya and tomato-ginger vinaigrette.”Exotic, to be sure,” reported the Denver Post. “But its formation was prosaic enough.”This year, Newsted is back, attempting a three-peat, of sorts, as executive chef of ZaccaZa Restaurant in Avon, where he hopes to display Taste of Vail’s newly designed trophy – inscribed with the winner’s name – for another year.”It’s a fun event. I look forward to it every year,” said Newsted, formerly executive chef at Game Creek Restaurant, adding the lamb dish he prepares for the competition this time will be “very different,” more in line with the Italian theme of ZaccaZa. “No matter what, I’m going to have a good time and let the chips fall where they may.”Organizers also will present another new trophy, the People’s Choice Award, to the chef garnering the most votes from lamb-crazed ticket buyers.”The Lamb Cook-Off is so indicative of Colorado,” said Megan Wortman, spokeswoman for the Denver-based American Lamb Board, which is donating 800 pounds of locally grown leg of lamb to the event this year. “Fantastic chefs with unique, outstanding presentations – last year, people were going gangbusters over it all. And there’s no better way to promote the fact Colorado produces some of the finest lamb in the world.”The Colorado Lamb Cook-Off is not covered by Taste of Vail’s Festival Pass. For $2 each, however, samples of the chefs’ lamb offerings will be on sale to the general public, along with lamb-friendly tasting pours of fine wines.

For more information, or to buy tickets to Taste of Vail’s other events, visit http://www.tasteofvail.com, e-mail info@tasteofvail.com or call 926-5665. # # #Media contact: Stephen Lloyd Wood, media liaison (970) 949-9774press@tasteofvail.comwww.tasteofvail.com========================

Cutline info:For Lamb Cook-Off 2006.jpg:The second annual Colorado Lamb Cook-Off filled Gore Creek Drive in Vail Village with hungry skiers and onlookers tasting $2 samples from renowned chefs. (Photo courtesy Taste of Vail)For Lamb Bisteeya.jpg:”Lamb Bisteeya,” a savory lamb leg confit baked in phyllo with cardamom-spiced green papaya and tomato-ginger vinaigrette, took top honors at the second annual Colorado Lamb Cook-Off. (Photo courtesy Taste of Vail)For Chef Thomas Newsted.jpg:



Chef Thomas Newsted of Game Creek Restaurant is known for fusing American-French cooking with regional ingredients. (Photo courtesy Game Creek Restaurant)For Trophies-Lamb in sun.JPG and Trophies-Lamb on snow.JPG:Chefs participating in Taste of Vail’s third annual Colorado Lamb Cook-Off will be vying for trophies, as well as the coveted title of “lamb guru.” Chef Thomas Newsted has won the official competition two years in row.(Photo courtesy Taste of Vail.)For Trophy-Lamb1st in sun.JPG and Trophy-Lamb1st on snow.JPG:Chefs participating in Taste of Vail’s third annual Colorado Lamb Cook-Off will be vying for this newly designed trophy, to be displayed at the winner’s restaurant restaurant for a year. Chef Thomas Newsted, now with ZaccaZa in Avon, has won the official competition two years in row.(Photo courtesy Taste of Vail.)=======================


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