PITTSBURGH, Sept. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 3rd Annual Western Pennsylvania Lamb Cook-Off (Lamb Fest) has expanded and moved to Pittsburgh's Strip District neighborhood. The outdoor festival on Sunday, September 29 will feature 34 of Pittsburgh's best chefs preparing locally raised lamb from Pure Bred. Tickets are available for $65 in advance and include entry to the event and tastings from 10 Chef Teams. A VIP ticket is also available for $100 in advance and includes access to a VIP lounge & bar at Kingfly Spirits, specialty cocktails, Festival gift bags and free parking. Guests will be able to vote for their favorite Chef Team in this culinary battle royale of Western Pennsylvania's most famous protein and a panel of celebrity judges and local food experts will also dole out the Steelite Critics' Pick title. A portion of event proceeds will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Due to increasing demand and audience sizes, the Festival has moved from its previous home at Ace Hotel to an open-air street festival format on 26th Street between Railroad and Smallman Streets. "It's fitting that the regions' premier culinary competition take place in Pittsburgh's historic food-hub," says Lamb Fest's creative visionary and chief organizer, Christina French. "The Strip was historically the place for food commerce and has remained as such for locals and visitors alike throughout the years. From our treasured ethnic markets and wholesale opportunities to some of the city's finest eateries - this neighborhood is in the middle of another food renaissance right now and we're excited and honored to be a part of that story."
It's all in the neighborhood as other Strip District staples get in on the fun. Bar Marco is running the Festival's bar and Kingfly Spirits and Wigle are providing the spirits. Cinderlands Beer Co. is the exclusive beer of the event.
This is the second year that the Western PA Lamb Cook-Off & Festival is presented by Pure Bred. Pure Bred was founded by Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Keith Martin of Western Pennsylvania's own Elysian Fields. Pure Bred has an established reputation for sponsoring the world's most prestigious culinary events, as well as promoting educational opportunities for the next generation of young chefs through the Culinary Institute of America.
The 34 featured chefs will be assembled into "Chef Teams" who will battle it out to win the coveted People's Choice Award and the Critic's Pick. Each Chef Team will prepare a collaborative plate featuring the star ingredient. Vegetarians are welcome and will have plenty of options, thanks to the fresh produce supplied by Paragon Foods and bread provided by Mediterra. Refreshing water stations will be provided throughout the event by Sustainable Pittsburgh and guests can look to favorite local sweetheart food brands like Millie's Homemade Ice Cream, Natrona Bottling Company, and Blume Honey Water for tastings throughout the day.
Lamb Fest welcomes back last year's winners self-named "Most Hated Players" team, Derek Burnell of Umami and Round Corner Cantina (Pittsburgh), Roger Li of Umami (Pittsburgh), and Dan Kern of 1201 Kitchen, Bird, and Noosa (Erie, PA). Other returning favorites include Bethany Zozula of Whitfield, Lily Tran of Soba, Sam DiBattista of Vivo Kitchen (Pittsburgh), Dom Branduzzi of Grapperia, Piccolo Forno (Pittsburgh), Kristen Butterworth of Lautrec, Justin Severino of Morcilla and Larder (Pittsburgh), Jennifer Gerasole of Girasole's (Pittsburgh), Kristin Butterworth of Lautrec (Farmington, PA), and Curtis Gamble of Station (Pittsburgh). Newcomers include Danielle Felix of Lunchbox Pop-Up (Pittsburgh), Jacqueline and Nathan Schoedel of The Speckled Egg (Pittsburgh), Chris O' Brien of Scratch F&B (Pittsburgh), and Michele Savoia of Dish Osteria (Pittsburgh).
Several teams will select a name for the competition that suits their offering, personalities or, like the Severino-lead "Italians" or two-time champs, the "Most Hated Players". A new "Immigrant Restaurant Owner Team" has formed this year to feature the culinary contributions of international chefs and restaurateurs in Pittsburgh under the advise of Alice Julier, Director of the Graduate Program in Food Studies at Chatham University. This team, comprised of Veda Sankaran of Jalsa by Veda, Itha Cao of The Hungry Cao, Leila Khalil of Khalil's, and Keyla Nogueira of Casa Brasil also welcomes NYC celebrity Chef Palak Patel (Chopped, Bobby Flay/Food Network, etc.) to its ranks.
"It's truly an honor to be invited to cook alongside this outstanding group of women chefs. They are enriching the backdrop of American cuisine by sharing their heritage, recipes, and stories. These women are pillars of their communities - I'm looking forward to showcasing our collective creativity," says Chef Patel. "It's this same creativity and amalgam of cultures that has been woven together over time to define the colorful tapestry of American cuisine. I'm also thrilled to be able to share my love of Indian food and spices with the city of Pittsburgh."
The Western Pennsylvania Lamb Cook-Off and Festival was originally Inspired by the Taste of Vail's Colorado Lamb Cook-off as well as the nationwide event celebrating heritage-raised pork, COCHON555. The unique culinary challenge for chefs is to base their creative presentations for the event around a single protein. The benefit to guests is they get to taste creations unique to the event as result of the collaborate chef team effort. "It's a beautiful fall day to explore local food and taste many creations of multiple chef teams. Western PA is the absolute best of the best for lamb and we are thrilled to partner with Pure Bred for a second year for incredible local product for our chefs." says Ms. French.
General admission tickets are $65 in advance for adults (13+) and $25 in advance for children (12 and under). VIP tickets are $100 in advance. Children 4 and under will be admitted for free. Tickets can be purchased at showclix.com/event/western-pa-lamb-cook-off2019 or by visiting showclix.com SEARCH "Western PA Lamb Cook-Off"
SOURCE Western Pennsylvania Lamb Cook-Off & Festival