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THE MG BLOG: Now & Ink

What's the life of a Modern Gentleman all about? Find out here, as Jason Tesauro and his collaborators share their latest discoveries and epiphanies.


Lambstock 2016

jason tesauro

What do you get when you blend a Southern revival and an episode of ‘Top Chef’ with a pinch of summer camp and prison break, all dry rubbed and left to cook on the spit? That would be Lambstock — the leave-no-trace camping trip for the farm-to-table set.
— The New York Times

Four years ago, I found myself knee-deep in the high grass of a sheep pasture within a mutton chop's throw of the Blue Ridge Parkway. After four days of finger-lickin love / lamb / fire / fun / passion / pork / coffee / 'cue / booze / bikes / tunes / tents / chefs / shenanigans, I was transformed. And hooked. 

This year, jonesing for bone marrow, I packed three tents, four children, five bikes and six cases of wine into the Wagon Queen Family Truckster for another adventure at Border Springs Farm's foodist fête, the 7th Annual Lambstock.

I first covered this affair for The New York Times,  but 2016 was pure indulgence in the beauty, fellowship and frenetic deliciousness that happens when chefs, somms, farmers, charmers, brewers, chewers, millers, distillers, growers, showers, foragers, photographers, butchers, cookers, cheesemongers, fishfryers, wineries, cideries, hip hop crooners, banjo tuners, barkeeps, RV peeps and hooligans get off the grid and onto the same frequency of share and share alike.

Shepherd Craig Rogers, known best for sustainably raising healthy, happy, loved and naturally-plumped lamb that ends up on the finest menus in America, is a true gentleman farmer. Each year, he and his team open up the gates to welcome anyone with one foot in the ethical food business and another foot in the business of feeding joy like a baker's starter.

Grounded in passion, craft and integrity that spreads person-to-person, region-by-region, tent-by-tent, invitees are drawn to the promise of personal and professional relationships built around the breaking of bread. Those who've sunk their teeth into Lambstock know that we the alumni are forevermore ambassadors for the soulfulness of food. How we gather and why we gather gives new meaning to word of mouth.

Check out the video above. Besides the soaring Blue Ridge via drone, pay attention to an astonishing time-lapse: 24 hours of Lambstock 2016. Note that the Chef's Pavilion is quiet for but a micro-second, because at Lambstock, someone's always hungry...and someone's always cooking. See you next year.

Lambstock 2016 in GIFs

Butterfly in the Blue Ridge.

The greatest chow line I have ever witnessed.


Clambake prepared by Harper's Table and Chef Beauter.

Cantastic Languedoc rosé from Queen of Wines, Durham, NC.

Lamb "frites" – fancy name for fried testicles and offal – in the Cowboy Cauldron.

Chef Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farm in Kinston, NC breaking it down for A Chef's Life.

Creekstone Farms flank steak prepared on the Cowboy Cauldron by  Chef John Fink of The Whole Beast.