Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Local chefs celebrate the taste of lamb

Express Staff Writer

Delectable lamb dishes will be served at numerous events this weekend up and down the Wood River Valley. Photo by Dev Khalsa

    Wood River Valley chefs are breaking out their favorite lamb dishes to treat visitors during the Trailing of the Sheep Festival this weekend.
    “The whole idea is to show people that lamb is absolutely yummy if it is done right,” said festival Executive Director Mary Austin Crofts. “All the lamb that is produced in this country is primarily raised on pasture land in high-country meadows, with no hormones or antibiotics. It is grass fed, free range and highly nutritious—just what Americans are looking for today.”
    Numerous cooking classes with local chefs have already sold out, but there are many more opportunities to sample the creations of valley chefs.
    “Thousands of pounds of lamb will be consumed over the weekend,” Crofts said.
    On Friday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m., the free For the Love of Lamb restaurant walk will feature local chefs cooking at 10 Ketchum locations. Participants will get a restaurant map and ballot for voting on the best dish at 6:45 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre on Main Street.
    On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 and 12, at the Championship Sheepdog Trials in Quigley Canyon near Hailey, authentic Basque food will be offered by the Gooding Basque Association, as well as beer and wine.
    On Saturday at the Sheep Folklife Fair at Roberta McKercher Park in Hailey, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Lamb Feast at the Folklife Fair will feature lamb dishes prepared by the finest Wood River Valley chefs and restaurants, for $7 per plate. Lamb Feast participants are:

  • CK’s Real Food, with chef/owner Chris Kastner.
  • Dang’s Thai Cuisine restauruant, with chef/owner Dang Chanthasuthisombut.
  • divine, with owner Sherry Holman.
  • il Naso, with chef Sam Turner and chef Kate.
  • Jim Roberts Catering, with chef/owner Jim Roberts (formerly of Boca).
  • KB’s, with chef/owner Roldolfo Serva.
  • Mahoney’s Bar and Grill, with owner Shaun Mahoney.
  • Seasons Steakhouse, with owners Marc and Freda
  • South Valley Pizzeria, with owner Dave Summers.

    On Sunday, the Trailing of the Sheep Parade Barbecue will take place on Irving’s Hill and at Main Street Market in Ketchum after the parade from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This lamb barbecue fundraiser for the festival is donated by board members, Lava Lake Lamb, the American Lamb Board and ranching partners.  Music will be played by Gary and Cindy Braun. Catering will be by On the Lamb by Brian and Kathleen Bean, Lava Lake Land & Livestock. The Sawtooth Brewery will share its limited release of Sheepherder Saison beer.  
    In addition to these events, festival-goers can also find many lamb dishes at Lamb Dine-Around, during which almost every restaurant in the area will serve lamb specialties over the weekend.
    For details: go to

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