Sunday was the big day - the Lamb Pro-Am Finals! It was the first tasting-style event where my goal wasn't to make sure I hit every booth I could. Instead, I arrived early, met with Chef Jay Silva of Bambara, who walked me through the changes he had made to my dish, and then it was time to serve.
Since my original dish was a roast leg of lamb, Chef Silva had to change things around to make it something that could be served to 150 people in small servings. He created smaller roasts by cutting up the lamb, thus enabling each dish to get a perfect slice of meat and rice. He also used the rice mixture and some ground lamb to create little arancini, adding lots of crispiness to the dish. Pumpkin puree and a red wine reduction pulled the dish together. I was very pleased with his changes and how the final dish turned out. In fact, I'd be very happy to receive this dish in a restaurant. Or just a dish full of the arancini.
Sadly, we didn't win (although our dish was my favorite of the day - what, you think I wouldn't be bias?!). Robin of Doves and Figs and her partner Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern took home the prize.
I had a wonderful time participating in this event, completely unlike anything I'd ever done before. Hopefully there will be more Lamb Pro-Ams in the future, and we'll get to see more wonderful and creative lamb dishes. Many, many thanks to BostonChefs.com and to the American Lamb Board for setting all of this up - they both throw great parties, so keep an eye out for more from them both. In fact, BostonChefs Flavors of Fall is next week - it's a great way to see how restaurants respond to the change in seasons.