This past Sunday, I drove up to Cambridge to join Marni at the New England Lamb Jam, a tasting event/competition which brought together 24 New England chefs to compete for the title of “Best Lamb Dish.” Each chef prepared lamb-focused bites alongside local brewers and winemakers serving sips. The event was part of the larger American Lamb Jam where top chefs in 5 US cities compete. The winner of each competition goes on to compete at the finale for the honor of being named “Lamb Jam Master.”
As we walked through the packed space with beer goblets in hand, we traveled from the Middle East, to Latin America, to Asia, to the Mediterranean by way of lamb dishes. Here are some of our favorites:
Middle EasternLamb Shoulder Confit with Za’atar, Muhummara and Lebne - Gracie’s (Matthew Varga)
LatinBarbacoa de Borrego - La Brasa (Daniel Bojorquez)
Banhi Mi Flatbread - Cook & Brown Public House (Nemo Bolin)
Baby Back Lamb Ribs Slow Braised with Coriander-Citrus Honey Glaze with Herb Roasted New Potatoes, Garlic, Capers, Preserved Lemon and Spiced Olives - Emilitsa (Niko Regas)
Jamison Farm Lamb Belly with Flavors of Spring - also Lamb Jerky and Lamb Fudge (lamb fat and white chocolate) - Brasserie 28 (Matt Morello)
Winner?? The lamb ribs from Emilitsa were our favorite and proved to be victorious in the Mediterranean category! Gracie’s won the Middle Eastern Category, Russell House Tavern won the Latin American, and Sweet Cheeks Q won the Asian as well as Best in Show with their spicy Chengdu lamb dumpling dish. Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks Q will go on to compete in the National Lamb Jam in New York.