If lamb if your jam, then the American Lamb Board has an event for you.
For the fifth year, the board is hosting a nationwide Lamb Jam tour, which comes through Austin on March 31 and features 17 of the city's best chefs. At the Austin Lamb Jam, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, at the Van Zandt Hotel, 605 Davis St., the teams will prepare their top lamb dish, and the winner will go on to compete against the other Lamb Jam winners from around the country.
I've judged this competition before, and it's amazing to see the many different ways you can use lamb in dishes. To showcase the versatility, chefs compete in four categories -- Asian, Latin, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern -- and then the judges pick winners in each category and then one overall winner. Attendees at the event get to try the various dishes and sample beer, wine and spirits from local beverage makers.
Austin is the first stop on the national tour that will also visit Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston and Denver. VIP and general admission tickets ($125 and $75) can be purchased online at americanlambjam.com.
Chefs competing this year include Puli-Ra's Deepa Shridhar, Sarah Heard of Foreign & Domestic, Will Eason of La Volpe, Red's Porch chef Kari Gonzalez, Rob Snow of Greenhouse Craft Food, Jayson Munuguia of Juliet Italian Kitchen, Bryan Beneke of Hideway Kitchen & Bar and Barrett Black of The Original Black’s Barbecue.