Each year, food industry insiders venture out to the farmlands of Virginia for a celebration of open fire cooking, camaraderie and, of course, lamb. Proof on Main’s executive chef Mike Wajda dishes on his experience at this year’s Lambstock.
Lambstock is known as the “Woodstock for Chefs.” Tell us more about the event.
Lambstock is a casual industry event put on by Craig Rogers of Border Springs Farm in Patrick Springs, Virginia. The event is all about networking with fellow industry family and bringing everyone together for some primitive cookery.
What’s the day-to-day like on the farm?
On day one, we set up camp. Finding a proper camp site for your tent is key because Lambstock happens rain or shine. The weather plays a big part in where you set up. Later, we go down to the main pavilion and scope out the roasting pits. This year, we hung fifteen of Farmer Joe’s ducks over the fire for a giant paella and roasted one of Craig’s beautiful whole lamb. Next, we dig a pit and set posts for our roasting racks. If you’re going to cook at Lambstock, you have to chop wood – just pick up an axe and get after it. After the fires are lit, we grab a bite from the morning chefs and go off into the woods to forage. There we find chanterelle mushrooms, wild shiso, pine and clover to use for our dinner. We then prep our ducks and lamb to begin to roast for dinner.
Any takeaways from this year’s Lambstock?
The beautiful thing about Lambstock is the relationships built. Some of the people we only get to see once a year every year, whereas others are completely new faces. Every year, I walk away with a handful of new friends and strengthened friendships with others from around the region, as well as a recipe or two. It is a beautiful event full of great people, food, beverage and tradition. Watching Craig’s lamb roast over an open fire is a site to see. His lamb from Border Springs Farm are truly outstanding.