Cooking With: Natalie Niederhofer, Table 79’s Chef de Cuisine |

Cooking With: Natalie Niederhofer, Table 79’s Chef de Cuisine

The lamb dish features a masala spiced leg carved tableside, crisp red-skinned potatoes with herbs, sautéed vegetables and rosemary jus.
Matt Stensland

— Mosey on in. Take a front-row seat at the epicenter of Table 79.

The 84-seat eatery is referred to as "experience-driven." In other words, you feel the heat of the searing lamb as your taste buds start to stir into a frenzy of savory spices.

Hailing from the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan, Chef de Cuisine Natalie Niederhofer incorporates her Midwestern upbringing to create the modern, elevated comfort food of Table 79 with a focus on seasonality and local ingredients.

"We try and create dishes that either make me feel nostalgic or something me or another cook can brainstorm and feel passion about. But really, it's just from what I feel inspired by through one of the many cookbooks I read. It also depends on what is in season."


Roasted Leg of Lamb for Two (20-ounce portion)

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  • 1.5 quarts buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons of gram masala
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh cracked Pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly
  2. Using a deep plastic container, submerge lamb into mixture, let sit overnight for at least 12 hours.
  3. Remove lamb, pat dry with towel. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  4. Roasted lamb at 325 degrees Fahrenheit about 3 hours. Every 30 minutes, baste with olive oil or butter.
  5. Remove when internal temp is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Let rest on a rack for about 40 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, using a cast iron skillet, sear the fat side of the lamb on extremely high heat until fat is somewhat rendered and crispy and brown. Flip carefully
  7. Drain fat and deglaze with sherry. Use care, as this will flame up. Remove from heat, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice lamb against the grain.


Sauted Kale

  1. Sweat shallots and minced garlic on low for 8 minutes.
  2. Add shredded kale.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Deglaze with white wine (about 2 tablespoons)

Crispy Potatoes

  • Dice Yukon gold potatoes.
  • Rinse well under cold water, removing all the outside starches.
  • Drain well
  • Toss in olive oil, dried oregano and basil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast in oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. Turn heat up at the end to crisp outside.

Drink Pairings

General manager, craft cocktail engineer and wine connoisseur Nick Crawford shared his insights on which drinks to pair with the featured recipe.

Wine pairings by the glass:

Tuscan Donna Olimpia

According to Crawford, this is a Tuscan blend from Italy that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Lamb, he said, is a fairly rich dish with lots of fat content, which is why you would want a wine that has more tannins and greater acidity to cut the richness of the lamb and bring out the best taste in both.

By the bottle:

A bottle from Spain's Montsant region is the Garnacha Syrah blend. A classic pairing along similar lines as the first option, with the addition of a tantalizing acidity, fruit and tannins.

Other craft cocktails to try:

Wenatchee Sour — a concoction that offers a unique, sour cocktail. Crawford said this recipe includes AppleJack brandy, Lillet Blanc, freshly squeezed lemon, bitter truth bitters and egg whites.

Oaxaca Negroni — this is a craft cocktail Crawford said is a fun take on the traditional Negroni. Using Bianco vermouth as opposed to the usual rouge or sweet made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Contratto Bianco and Cocchi Americano

"Cooking With" is Explore Steamboat's newest column, giving readers a behind the scenes look at a variety of Steamboat Springs restaurants and culinary inspirations. If you have a restaurant in mind, contact Arts and Entertainment Editor Audrey Dwyer at or 970-871-4229.