Chef Christopher Schmidt of Sweet Basil took home top honors at the 13th Annual American Lamb Cook-Off at Taste of Vail for his Spring Reuben Sandwich with House Sauerkraut and Green Harissa Mayo. Second place went to Beano’s Cabin and third place went to La Tour Restaurant. Beano’s Cabin was also awarded the People’s Choice award. 

The lamb cook-off, sponsored by the American Lamb Board and held throughout the streets of Vail Village, showcased 25 of the area’s finest chefs preparing diverse dishes featuring Colorado leg of lamb. The lamb bites were complimented by samples from participating wineries.

“As a chef team, we really love Reuben sandwiches,” says Schmidt.  “We wanted a light spring version of the sandwich to showcase lamb, using herbaceous harissa versus a heavier classic thousand island dressing.”

“Leg of lamb was showcased in an array of creative dishes that highlighted flavors from around the world—from empanadas to tamales to gyros,” says Megan Wortman, executive director of the Denver-based American Lamb Board. “Even after 13 years, we are always amazed by the innovative ways these Vail Valley chefs utilize lamb.”

Additional restaurants that participated in the 13th Annual American Lamb Cook-Off include:

  • Bistro 14
  • bol
  • Boxcar Restaurant
  • Elway’s
  • Fitz Bar & Restaurant
  • Frost Creek
  • Flame/Remedy
  • Game Creek Restaurant
  • Harvest
  • Larkspur
  • Matsuhiusa
  • Mid Vail
  • Mountain Standard
  • Pendulum
  • Revolution
  • Terra Bistro
  • The 10th Restaurant
  • Toscanini
  • Two Elk
  • Vin 48
  • Vintage
  • Wildwood Smokehouse
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