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.
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!
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.
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.
The menu and wine pairings ~
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!
23 thoughts on “A Magical Meal on the Beach by Outstanding in the Field”
Oh my! What a dream. The setting looks like it could not have been more perfect and the food…well, beautiful! Thanks for aharing!
Thank you for reading Laura – It was a magical experience and I was thrilled to share it.
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.
Thank you Janice! They travel all over the world, there may be a dinner you can plan to get to!
What a cool idea! We will be keeping an eye on the Outstanding in the Field website in hopes of being near one of their events. Thanks for letting us know about this.
You are welcome. – I know you both would love it!
This meal looks incredible. Wonderful how food brings people together,
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!
Thanks Doreen – Lucky you to have something like this! Check out the website to see if there will be dinners near you.
I want to go!! I’m going to check out their website, but probably have to wait until there’s one close to us, huh? 🙁
The new schedule is not out yet for the US. There may be a place you can get to by car.
That is such a lovely idea! I love having meals on the beach and having a giant bonfire too makes it even more awesome! Great post!
Thanks Kylie, So true! Anything tastes good at the beach!
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.
Thanks for reading Mary! You would love this! They celebrate the farmer and fresh ingredients with no chemicals. #inspiring
Your adventures never cease to amaze me! One of these dinners was in Dallas a few years ago, and my daughter was the photographer for it!
Thanks Tam. I bet your daughter loved it!
Love that first picture of the table seemingly extending forever. Gorgeous setting and the food looks incredible.
Yes Charles that table went on for days – It was simply extraordinary. Thanks for reading!
What a lovely setting for a lovely meal! And what a great idea! We weren’t aware of Outstanding in the Field until reading this — wonder if they do meals in Canada too?
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!
What a wonderful experience in a beautiful setting! Can you save two seats for us next year?
Yes Irene! We would love that!