One of the greatest things about the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a chance to enjoy lamb feasts cooked in dozens of different ways, as some of the Wood River Valley’s finest chefs and restaurants take festival participants on a culinary adventure.
Three top chefs are offering to show would-be lamb cookers some of their secrets. There’s a barbecue prior to the parade, special lamb dishes at the Sheep Folklife Fair and a For the Love of Lamb Food Fest at participating restaurants. Plus, many restaurants in the valley are offering special lamb dishes throughout the days of the festival.
Cooking with lamb
It might be too late, but just in case someone drops out, people interested in Cooking With Lamb demonstrations should contact the College of Southern Idaho at 788-2033 to register. Three classes are offered this year, with the cost for each at $50.
Scott Mason, owner and chef at Enoteca in Ketchum will be demonstrating how to make authentic Italian lamb pizza at his restaurant. The class runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10. Lunch is included.
Also on Thursday, Chris Kastner, owner and chef at CK’s Real Food in Hailey, will be demonstrating “classic techniques for cooking with lamb.” The class runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at CK’s. Tastings are included.
On Friday, chef Felix Gonzales will be demonstrating lamb-cooking recipes he learned from his father, who was originally from the Basque region in Spain. The class will take place at a private home. Lunch and wine are included.
Also on Friday, the For the Love of Lamb event takes place in Ketchum, starting a 5 p.m. Attendees are invited to “lamb tastings from the finest Wood River Valley chefs and restaurants” and are advised to get there early, as free lamb goes fast.
Participating in the event are B. Restaurant, Boca, Cristina’s Restaurant, Cornerstone Bar and Grill, Enoteca, the Ketchum/Sun Valley Ski and Heritage Museum (featuring chef Tim Filgate), nexStage Theatre, Rasberries, Sawtooth Club and Vintage.
Folklife fair goodies
The Sheep Folklife Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at McKercher Park in Hailey. Numerous restaurants, caterers and ranchers are scheduled to be there to provide scrumptious dishes. Small plate tastings can be purchased for $5, while lamb specials will be priced from $7 to $12.
CK’s Real Food, with Kastner, will be serving Lava Lake Lamb vindaloo, a spicy Indian curry dish. Di Vine, with owner Sherry Horton, will offer participants lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce made with Chobani Greek yogurt. Lava Lake Lamb will be cooking ribs.
Muleshoe Tavern and Steakhouse, with chef Chris Olmstead, will be serving lamb gyros with coleslaw. On the Lamb, featuring the Noh Sheep Co. catering team, will serve lamb burgers, lamb sausages, lamb tacos and bainh mi Vietnamese wraps. Lamb kabobs and salad will be available from Seasons Steakhouse, with owner Freda Wilson doing the serving. The Haven, featuring Kellee Havens, will be serving lamb tostadas with Pico de Gallo sauce and coleslaw.
Finally, a special food booth with “kid-friendly lunches,” including breakfast burritos, muffins, hot dogs, Franz bakery buns, grilled cheese sandwiches, beef chili and more will be provided by the Blaine County 4-H Leaders Council.
A good way to start off the Trailing of the Sheep Parade is by enjoying a lamb barbecue at Irving’s Hill on Main Street in Ketchum. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., so it’s a good way to end the parade too.
The event is a Trailing of the Sheep fundraiser with food donated by festival board members, Lava Lake Lamb, the American Lamb Board and ranching families from around Idaho and the West. Music will be provided by Gary and Cindy Braun.
Lamb Dine Around
Numerous restaurants in the valley will be serving lamb specialties during the festival. Lava Lake lamb chops, lamb sliders, lamb shank, lamb tacos, lamb kabobs, lamb stew and lamb ribs are some of the dishes that can be enjoyed.
A complete list of participating restaurants and their special dishes is available at the festival website at www.trailingofthesheep.org.