Lava Lake Lamb at the James Beard House
On Friday, Lava Lake Lamb was featured in a superb meal at the James Beard House in New York, prepared by Rick Sordahl, the chef at the Amangani Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rick has been a long-time supporter of Lava Lake’s and we were thrilled to be featured along with wines from the Kingston Family. I was lucky enough to attend.
The James Beard House is arguably the spiritual home of the revolution in American gastronomy that began in the 1950s as Julia Child, James Beard, and others challenged Americans to cook and eat better. Today when we focus on understanding where our ingredients come from, building relationships with growers and celebrating the role of food in family and social life, we can, in part, thank Beard.
Chef Rick challenged himself and his outstanding crew to create an all-lamb meal, with the only course not centering on lamb being dessert. The hors d’ouevres were followed by a Lamb Tenderloin Carpaccio, a Braised Petite Lamb Shank, Crispy Lamb Sirloin Confit, and, finally, a Horseradish-Crusted Lamb Rack (see full menu here). The wines were excellent and it was a delight to meet the Kingstons in person. I shared a table with Sue and Steve Hauff of Prairie Harvest, one of our distributors, and Stuart Campbell of the Amangani Resort, along with Dennis Stiffler and David Bernestein, our partners at Mountain States Rosen. We were all amazed by the delicacy and flavors of each course.
Rick took lamb cookery to a new level that evening, demonstrating that lamb can be delicate and light (carpaccio), warm and nourishing (shanks), and plain old finger licking good (rack)! I couldn’t help but think of all the hard work we put into raising our lamb. Rick’s masterful performance honored that work and left me feeling humbled and thankful for the relationships that make it possible to bring our lamb to appreciative customers.
The meal also left me feeling pretty full. So, after rounds of thanks and good-byes with very appreciative diners, I stepped into the cool night and walked from the West Village back to my hotel near Central Park, the mountains of Idaho seeming closer to New York than before.