Meek-Bradley is the executive chef of Ripple, located in Cleveland Park. She recently won Best in Show and Best Shank Dish at the 2013 DC Lamb Jam and will go on to compete in the Lamb Jam Finale in New York this fall.
What kind of food do you cook at Ripple?
It's very local and seasonal, so I use whatever's fresh and from the farmer's market and some of the local co-ops, the farms around here. Just very American, with a bit of Mediterranean influences.
How did you get involved in the Lamb Jam?
I had heard of the competition over the past couple years, and this year I got invited to join and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun.
What was your winning dish, and how did you come up with the idea for it?
The winning dish was a lamb shank ragu with potato gnocchi, pickled ramps, peas and Garrotxa goat cheese. I came up with it because I make gnocchi here at the restaurant, and I get leg of lamb in. ... It comes with the shanks, so I started braising the shanks and making ragu with it for the restaurant. People just enjoyed it so much that I figured, "Well, if everyone likes it so much, I should use it in the competition."
What do you like about cooking lamb?
I just think it has such a nice flavor, and it can really stand on its own and bring a lot to a dish. Or you can use lots of spices. ... It's very versatile, but it's so good on its own, as well.
Is lamb your favorite food? If not, what is?
I definitely love lamb. I think it's probably one of my favorite meats, but I am a bit more of a seafood person. I love fresh fish.
- Naomi Jagoda