A Magical Meal on the Beach by Outstanding in the Field

 

Outstanding in the Field
Outstanding in the Field 2016 – Santa Cruz, CA

 

Outstanding in the Field ~

One year ago, almost to the day, we attended our first Outstanding in the Field community dinner. Outstanding in the Field is a mobile culinary feast that travels the US and the globe to bring together local farmers, culinary artisans and food lovers to share an outdoor, farm to table meal. At each location, at these “restaurants without walls”, Outstanding in the Field chooses a local chef to manage the meal preparation to spotlight the local farmers, fishermen, ranchers and vintners. This group effort promotes the love of great food and celebrates ingredients that are chemical free and lovingly prepared.

Last year, we sat on a farm in Hollywood, CA (yes it does exist) with 150 other engaging, happy foodies, drinking wine by the light of mason jar candles, while eating a farm to table meal fit for a queen.

The bright glow of that memory lingered with us for months and we hoped we could do it again one day. In 2016 that “one day” came when I investigated the OITF website and found a dinner located close enough we could get there without too much difficulty.

Outstanding in the Field

This location in Santa Cruz was on the beach at the Secret Sea Cove, yes I am not kidding! A very long continuous table full of food fans from close by and far away joined together to enjoy a meal prepared by Jonnatan Leiva for Comedor in San Francisco.

We laughed, we talked, we shared about our lives, we swapped stories of past food experiences and marveled at the magic of this moment.

This was one of those wondrous experiences in your life you will absolutely never forget. The food was colorful and beautiful and tasty and we sat in wood chairs lodged in the sand with the roar of the surf within steps of the table.

The meal was served family style and it took hours and hours to enjoy. However, the pinnacle for me was when we simultaneously looked up to see a bright pink sunset. The cloud cover was thick and we had all but given up any hope for a special sunset. We were so wrong! Every guest jumped up from the table to take group shots and selfies documenting this incredible evening!

Outstanding in the Field

Because the details are the best part, this is how the evening went ~

The founder, Jim Denevan, welcomed us and told the story of Outstanding in the Field, from when it began in 1999 and this journey of connecting people, the farmers and the land it comes from. Just imagine the food they have eaten, the people they have met and the locations that have hosted them.

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field
Hans of H & H Fish shared his sustainable fish practices and enthusiasm for the ocean and the local fishing.

We were served an impressive buttery chardonnay by Donkey and Goat, winemakers from Berkeley, CA  and yummy appetizers for the first hour of our arrival. Everyone stood on top of the cliff looking out at the shore to see that solitary, magnificent table, set for our outstanding meal.

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field
We loved this Donkey and Goat Chardonnay – Jared and Tracy Brandt were so generous and friendly. You must check out their winery.
Outstanding in the Field
I loved her smile, hat and outfit – She was serving delicious cucumber gazpacho with sliced pear.

The menu and wine pairings ~

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field
This fresh crab and avocado dish was the absolutely best crab we have ever tasted. A true work of art!

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field
Jim saying thank you to the staff by lantern light – Pure magic.
Outstanding in the Field
They even made us a on bonfire!

 

Outstanding in the Field will begin again in January 2017 for the Winter Tour in Casablanca Valley, Chile. Check out the schedule to see these incredible locations!

Outstanding in the Field

Craig and I plan to attend an event next year, maybe in the summer. Who wants to join us?

Life is about adventure – What have you discovered lately?


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23 thoughts on “A Magical Meal on the Beach by Outstanding in the Field”

  1. I was dying to read your post when I saw the picture of you and Craig on the beach last week. AMAZING! I’ve been to a “farm to table” event, but nothing like this. I’ll be checking the schedule to see if one might be near by. This was surely an event you’ll never forget! Thanks for sharing something that I’m sure a lot of people don’t know about.

    Reply
  2. Great post, Suzanne. The meal and wine look amazing. We have a similar “Farm to Table ” dinner here in Winnipeg, but I have not been. They also do one out in a farmer’s field, but that beach location looks magnificent!

    Reply
  3. What a spectacular expierence and to think you gotten to do it twice! I love what these amazing people are doing! I will definately be checking out their page.

    Reply
    • Janice it was such an amazing setting! I am not certain if they do meals in Canada, but I bet they will be close enough for you to make a fun trip out of it!

      Reply

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