Culinary medicine virtual happy hour helps health professionals nourish with lamb

American Lamb Board

George Washington University’s Culinary Medicine Program hosted a virtual happy hour on Aug. 14, 2020, sponsored by the American Lamb Board, focused on how lamb fits into a Mediterranean-style diet.

Led by Chef Kerri Dotson, RDN, director of operations and executive chef for GWU Culinary Medicine Program, and Timothy Harlan, MD, executive director of GWU Culinary Medicine Program, this virtual class showcased lamb in Mediterranean recipes using various flavor profiles to meet different cultural preferences.

Promoted to GWU Culinary Medicine Program’s 5,000-plus members, the 40-seat class sold out within minutes of becoming available and brought together registered dietitians, physicians and other nutrition and medical professionals. Chef Dotson and Harlan prepared dishes that incorporated legumes, vegetables, olive oil, and, of course, lamb, including a Lamb and Sweet Potato Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Moroccan Braised Lamb and Lamb Bolognese.

Designed as a virtual yet intimate gathering to stir engagement and discussion, attendees walked away with a deep understanding and appreciation for how lamb fits into a Mediterranean diet, along with practical recipes to incorporate lamb into a client meal plan. Chef Dotson and Harlan received positive feedback on the session and are interested in expanding the offering to a larger group in the future.

Mediterranean Café

The American Lamb Board has teamed up with Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe to promote accessible options that incorporate lamb into the diet of American families. The new partnership includes in-restaurant signage and promotions, recipe ideas as well as a social media campaign @fanoflamb. Taziki’s has more than 90 restaurants in 17 states, with most locations in the Southeast.

“We thank Taziki’s for their commitment to using American lamb. Menuing of local lamb supports the nation’s shepherds and their families,” said Megan Wortman, executive director of the Denver-based American Lamb Board. “American Lamb is known for its distinctive yet mild flavor and we love Taziki’s use of fresh char-grilled leg of lamb in their gyros, salads and Family Feast.”

“One of Taziki’s top priorities has always been providing high-quality food to all guests,” said Dan Simpson, CEO of Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe. “Our focus begins far before the food arrives at the stores; when choosing the farmers behind our food, Taziki’s searches for the best partners with great practices.” Taziki’s rejects the idea of processed meat on a spit and has built a 20-plus year demand around the fresh, real lamb that their customers have become accustomed to on their menu.

“This incredible protein has been something that our guests have enjoyed since the inception of our brand,” said Simpson. “Our lamb is seasoned with Greek seasoning and char-grilled fresh to-order to provide you the adventure of authentic Mediterranean flavors.”

Here are some of the curated lamb dishes that can be ordered when visiting Taziki’s:

• Lamb Family Feast features char-grilled lamb with fresh salad, rice or potatoes, dip and pita. Feeds families of four, six or eight for lunch or dinner.

• Lamb Feast Greek Salad comes with your choice of rice or potatoes.

• Grilled Lamb Gyro includes Taziki Sauce, tomatoes, mixed lettuce, and grilled onions. Served with chips and a healthy side.

• Lamb Mediterranean Salad mixes lettuces with garbanzo beans, roasted red peppers, red onions, diced tomatoes, roasted pecans and feta served with Taziki’s homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

• Greek Salad Gyro features char-grilled lamb, tomatoes, cucumber, roasted red peppers, red onions, mixed lettuce, feta and Greek dressing. ❖