3rd Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb Announced

3rd Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb Announced

With 2 International Chefs and more venues

The Mintaro Progress Association are pleased to announce the 3rd Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb which will be held from 21 – 26 September 2022 at various venues across the Clare Valley.

Building on the success of the first two festivals, this multi-day event is now the Clare Valleys annual spring equinox food festival. It combines the first buds of the vines and the premier time for new-season lamb that is lean, tender and ideal for a wide range of recipes. An ethical approach to the lamb is taken as its preparation continues to be the focus.  This is achieved by having intimate dinning experiences where the venue takes a full lamb from a local farmer, which the chef then prepares in consultation with the butcher and the farmer. The lamb inspired dishes will be matched with some of the Clare Valley’s finest wines and this year Pikes Beer Company will be joining.

International Chef Snorri Sigfússon (Iceland) will make his first visit to Australia and Oregon USA Chef Chris Holen an instigator of the Festival of the Lamb concept will return. Both are having a chefvacation and will partner with local chefs at Reillys in Mintaro and the Watervale Hotel.

The festival caters for locals, as well as attracting tourists and provides mid-week events and encourages the spotlight on local produce.  It supports a collaborative approach between hotels and restaurants in the region. The Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb adds value to the region by enhancing the paddock to plate / provenance culture, which now has local lamb featuring regularly on local menus.

The festival supports linkages between the sheep / lamb industry and the tourism sector. Six lamb producers are partnered with venues hold event during the festival. Confirmed to date are:

  • Magpie and Stump Hotel, Mintaro
  • Paulett Wines & Bush DeVine Café, Polish Hill River
  • Reillys Cellar Door & Restaurant, Mintaro
  • Watervale Hotel & Penobscot Farm, Watervale
  • Knappstein Wines Enterprise Cellar, Clare
  • Mr Micks Cellar Door and Kitchen, Clare
  • Pikes Wines & Pikes Beer Company, Sevenhill
  • Mintaro Institute, Mintaro
  • Skillogalee, Sevenhill

Other venues are invited to be involved and their events can be added to the program which can be found at http://www.mintaro.sa.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Program-as-of-9-July-2022-1.pdf for further information or to get involved contact Simon Millcock 0407819000 or email [email protected]

Festival of the Lamb 2022


Guest Chefs


Chef Snorri Sigfusson is an Icelandic chef and restaurateur with years of experience in the fine dining scene in Iceland. He  is classically French trained and his background is New Nordic Cuisine. Chef Sonrri has worked in many of the best restaurants in Reykjavík as well as opening three restaurants. The latest, Monkeys, opened in October 2021 and it has already received several local and international rewards.

Snorri grew up in the East coast of Iceland where he was surrounded by produce of the highest quality, such as fresh fish, organic greens and mushrooms from the forest and a variety of game. His mother was a school mistress at the local culinary school and took Snorri with her to work from a young age. It was there where he found his passion for cooking. Snorri started working in a kitchen at a busy summer hotel that his family ran, at the age of 16. He worked there, and later managed the kitchen, for 4 years. Then he took a U turn. Wanting to try something new, Snorri went to the University of Reykjavík to study business administration. After graduation he started working at Kaupthing investment bank. Three successful years later, Snorri could not give up on his first passion. Therefore he quit and started his training at the Culinary Institute of Iceland.

Snorri learned under the guidance of Chef Kari Thorsteinsson. Since then, they have worked together on collaboration pop ups and events in Reykjavik, East Iceland and Astoria Oregon. Chef Snorri opened up his first restaurant, Laxdalshus, in Akureyri in 2011 with his long time friends Ragnar and Drifa. Their focus was on availability and seasonality of local products with a New Nordic style cuisine. Chef Snorri then opened up Staff kitchen and bar in Reykjavík in 2017. Located on the main shopping street they offered craft cocktails and local street food.

In 2020 Chef Snorri stepped away from his two restaurants to start working on a new project, Monkeys. Chef Snorri teamed up with two of the most experienced restaurateurs in Iceland to open up the biggest restaurant and cocktail bar in downtown Reykjavík. After one year of renovation and preparation they opened in october 2021. In 2022 Monkeys and the cocktail bar received rewards from BCA International for Best restaurant, Best new cocktail bar, Best bartender and Best Signature cocktail.


Chef Chris Holen is an American Professional Chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur. Chef Holen grew up in rural Alaska and after spending a good part of his early twenties travelling outside of the country, he came to realize that food was the common denominator of all the adventures and made the decision to pursue a culinary career. Chris is a graduate of The Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona with degrees in both Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. Since the year 2000 he has been self-employed, along with his wife Jennifer in the restaurant business owning and operating a number of establishments and their restaurant Baked Alaska became a mainstay in the Columbia Pacific region until the Covid-19 Pandemic. Chris and Jennifer now operate their Global Street Foods venue Nekst Event in Astoria.

Chef Holen has cooked at The James Beard House in New York City on three separate occasions, twice on loan to another local chef assisting in their event and he had the fortune of being invited to represent his restaurant and Astoria in November of 2012. In August 2014 Chef Holen represented the state of Oregon at the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Holen’s Baked Alaska restaurant was on the Oregonian’s Gerry Frank Top 10 Oregon Restaurant list and Chris participates in a number of state-wide food and wine events showcasing Northwest ingredients.

Chris is an entrepreneur and keeps his hands in a number of projects to diversify his business and personal brand. Chef Daddy Brands (chefdaddybrands.com) is a culinary sea salt business that offers a variety of blended sea salts intended to enhance the already existing flavours of food. Chris has Norwegian roots and Astoria Oregon has a rich Scandinavian heritage. Combining that heritage, local ingredients and his love of obscure spirits Chris created an aquavit that is meant to literally “taste like the Northwest.”

Chris’s most recent food and travel passion project is Chef Outta Water. What started as a simple desire to get out of his own kitchen to gain more knowledge has become a World-wide exchange program.

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