Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 Seattle American Lamb Jam was a tasteful success

Yesterday afternoon while Seahawks and fans were getting drenched in the first major storm of Seattle's winter season, a less formidable group were gathering at the Bell Harbor Conference Center at Pier 66 for the second annual American Lamb Jam. Huddled inside the dry warm space with twenty-one of Seattle's finest chefs, the intrepid group of foodies dined on Moroccan lamb shank sloppy joes from Boka Kitchen and Bar and Lamb pastrami on rye from Re:public restaurant.

The event was even larger than last year with more eateries and wineries participating. As my sister and I ate and drank our way through each entrants offerings we soon began to realize that unless we wanted our bloated bodies carried out of the Center when it was all over we were going to have to pick and choose.

It was not an easy task since there were so many wonderful dishes to try. Andaluca who had one of my favorites last year had another great dish with a lamb in fillo triangle that was spot-on. Ponti Seafood Grill had a terrific lamb char sui on a Chinese steamed bun (a bit more sauce would have been nice), and the Barking Frog with a show stopper of a pot pie made with lambcetta and confit chanterelle.

The fan favorite of the evening turned out to be Grilled lamb shoulder confit with preserved huckleberries and creamy parsnip. A very excellent and tender bite that received many oohs and aahs. The dish was prepared by Chef Mark Bodinet from Copperleaf Restaurant of Cedarbrook Lodge who gets to compete in New York against winners from other Lamb Jam's across the country.

We didn't think that everybody had a winner this year. Ray's Boathouse disappointed after a good showing last year with a fillo wrapped offering that was as dry as dirt. Bell Harbor international conference center had a uninspired lamb gyro that was more sour cream than anything else. But fortunately there were very few examples of no-so-great dishes.

Overall, not a bad way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. I'll be back next year.

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