Craig Rogers is a modern-day shepherd. Up at Border Springs, his farm in Virginia, he herds sheep and is famous in the food world for a number of things.
First, there's his lamb, which is used in fine kitchens across the land. In town, you can find his product at places like the Grocery, Husk, Cypress, and FIG among others.
Second, there's Lambstock, an annual gathering on his property where chefs are invited to camp on the pasture, hang out, and cook up some grub. He's only hosted two of these, but Lambstock is already legendary.
And third, there's Lambs and Clams, a world tour that Rogers and his pals Travis and Ryan Croxton from Rappahannock River Oysters have put together. They recently did a James Beard dinner in Atlanta. They are doing an event for the first lady of Virginia at the governor's mansion, and they are here in town this week for Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
Last night, Rogers was at the Grocery for the first installment of Lamb & Clams this week. Chef Kevin Johnson hosted an afterparty for the chefs who participated in the Farm Feast Auction. He was turning out various dishes, including platters of lamb ham, which Rogers couldn't stop praising: "This is phenomenal. It tastes like canned ham." It may sound like a dis, but Rogers told us that he has warm and fuzzy feelings about tender, salty ham that comes in a can. He just loves it.
In addition to the delicate flavors of lamb ham, Johnson served up some hearty plates of fried lamb livers and lamb hearts too.
Right now, Rogers is down in Marion Square putting his lambs on a spit with the help of Sean Brock and various chefs, prepping for tonight's Southern Foodways Potlikker film screening.
In related news, Rogers says he'll be regrouping with his pal Jen Carroll, the Top Cheftestant with whom he went on an amazing eating tour back in December, stopping at seven Charleston restaurants in 24 hours. He was tickled at my description of him as a famous eater. Apparently, this time around, they might just be followed around by TV cameras. But that's totally hush hush. Don't tell anyone I told you.