“I’m a shepherd. Even says so on my business card. The best title I’ve ever had,” announces Craig Rogers, beaming. Behind him Chef Kevin Johnson of The Grocery makes final preparations on the first dish, bone-in lamb short ribs smoked with sorghum. It’s L’Atelier de Le Creuset’s Guest Chef Series and everyone is hungry.
The demonstration and four-course meal, hosted last month at Le Creuset’s headquarters in West Ashley, featured sheep for every course except dessert. And not just any sheep, but Craig Roger’s sheep, of Border Spring Farms in Virginia. Rogers’ livestock have become a hot commodity in the Southern culinary scene, sought out for their flavor and quality. Paired with the easy-going banter between Johnson and Rogers, the meal made for a delicious and informative experience.
Three things I learned about lamb from shepherd Craig Rogers:
- The gestation period for sheep is five months, and they average nearly two lambs per birth.
- The sirloin cut is the cut above the sheep’s rump. “This is my sirloin by the way,” Craig demonstrated, gesturing to his lower back and turning around to give the audience a visual.
- When cooked by a skilled chef, lamb fat can taste good. Better-than-bacon good.