I truly love the concept of farm dinners, and it’s time to start thinking about them. I know this because I just got my annual announcement from my aspirational favorite, Outstanding in the Field. Every time I look at the photos on their website, I’m pretty sure I could run away and be part of their team – like a rock and roll tour, but better!
We eat out a lot, but my favorite meals are the ones that showcase the ingredients. You don’t have to have a fussy presentation if you have amazing ingredients. And no matter how “easy” the recipe may seem, it’s hard to replicate at home – we just don’t have access to the same products.
That’s what these dinners are all about. Outstanding in the Field is a “roving culinary experience”. Essentially, traveling dinner parties cooked with farm-fresh ingredients served right where they were grown – in fields, ranches, vineyards, and community gardens across the country. Dinner is served family style, often at one really long table and almost always outside. You bring your own plate and you eat with the farmers, food artisans, chefs and other guests. They’ve done dinners in some great places – in a sea cave, on a mountaintop, by a river, or in a field.
Some friends and I went to one of their dinners at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia. We had cocktails on the lawn of the rebuilt manor home, a tour of the farm’s livestock and crops, and dinner by candlelight in their barns (OK – maybe it wasn’t 160 people…but it was a lot!). It was a lovely evening and a great outing.
These dinners speak to me on so many levels –the farmers are so passionate about what they produce and so happy to share the experience, you get to dine outdoors, and the people that come leave pretension at the door (that might actually be a rule!) There’s not a lot that’s fancy about the evening, yet the experience is somehow over the top.
Great concept for a private event, or wonderful to just join in. Check out his pictures and try to join one!