Originally post by Amanada Scriver from torontoisawesome.com
On Thursday March 21, Grapes for Humanity put together BAHHH! The Great Lamby Cook-Off held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The concept of the evening was simple: 12 chefs, 12 lamb dishes and 12 wine pairings with proceeds all going towards a great cause. That cause being helping children’s education by constructing a needed school in Guatemala.
Of the 12 chefs competing during the cook-off, we had:
- Chef David Neinstein – Barque
- Executive Chef Ryo Ozawa – Edo
- Chef Graham Pelley – E11even Restaurant
- Chef Jeremy Dyer – L’Avenue Bistro
- Chef Alan Liu – Linda Modern Thai
- Chef Michael Pataran
- Chef David Junek – Salt
- Chef Collin Thornton – Fairmount Royal York
Each offering up their different variations of how lamb should be consumed and taken in. Some notable offerings came about in the form of a braised lamb empanada. I was able to chat briefly with Chef David Junek as he was plating all his dishes to hand out to guest (the room was busy and full) , as he had a stressed look on his face. I asked him if he was in the weeds and he said: “No, no. This is a dish I made all the time. I’m just having fun.”
Next up, we made our way over to Chef Michael Pataran’s table where he was serving up a beautiful lamb curry with coconut, lime and chili. All the flavours perfectly married together and made for a delicious and warm winter dish. Something I would love to make myself at home.
We next made our way over to Chef Alan Liu’s table from Linda Modern Thai. The lineup around his table way very long, but the presentation for completely eatable one-bite dish, I can see why. A traditional Thai dish with dry curried lamb in a vermecilli basket with lime and chili. On the side, they were serving up what was explained as ‘traditional Thai street-food’ with Mieng Kum (betel leaves stuffed with lots of other things). One word: exceptional.
One thing is for certain, Barque certainly does know how to make a sausage. Chef David Neinstein prepared his lamb sausage in a simple sauce that was simple and perfect and not at all dried out. I did forget to ask how long it was aged for. But thankfully, I know that Barque does take it’s meat seriously.
Other noteable mentions for the evening were Executive Chef Ryo Ozawa – Edo who created a lamb stirfry with kale (one of my favorite vegetables) and Chef Collin Thornton – Fairmount Royal York who had lamb with polenta.
But there could only be one King of this Lamb Cook-Off and the winner of this evening was Chef Michael Pataran. In in a close second place (according to the judges) was Chef Alan Liu. Each judge took home a pan set and the top title of King of Lamby Cook-Off.