September 4, 2010

Outstanding in the Field

Yesterday, we had the most amazing, beautiful, delicious, romantic, fun, and just generally wonderful dinner with Outstanding in the Field, a traveling cross-country feast that sets up tables in farm fields and asks local chefs to prepare meals that highlight local produce. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the best food that I have ever eaten in my life.

Yesterday's feast was held at Tim Stark's farm, a gorgeous spread that is known for its heirloom tomatoes (over a hundred varieties! Did you even know that there were a hundred varieties of tomatoes? Crazy.)

A three hundred year old ash tree (16 feet circumference!) lives on Tim's farm and anchors the division between the tomato fields and the barns:

The meal is set up as one very, very long table (for our dinner, there were about 150 people!), and the people you end up sitting next to are your dinner companions. We really lucked out in the dinner neighbor department, and had a blast with everyone around us. You can just barely make out me waiving my arm in the air in this photo that Misha took (from a ladder they had set up expressedly for this purpose - brilliant!).

The view from our hillside table was incredible.

Everyone was asked to bring their own plates, which added a really cute country touch.

Ok, ok, and finally - the food.

The winner of the passed hors d'oeuvres (well, if we were playing it Top Chef style... which we were) were these gazpacho water shots. What is gazpacho water? We couldn't figure it out, but we couldn't stop downing these. They were cool, slightly spicy, extremely flavorful, and completely addictive.

The four course dinner started with this smoked heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad. The pictures make it look simple, but it was dressed with some kind of tomato reduction that was out of this world. No one could get enough of this stuff.

Next, trout. And when I say trout, I mean the best prepared fish I have ever tasted. I don't even really like fish all that much, and I was trying as politely as possible to fight off other to get seconds (ok, more like fourths or fifths...). The trout was on a bed of fingerling potatoes, sorrels, quail eggs, marinated mushrooms, and onions prepared in some heavenly way that I can't begin to guess at.

The main course was chicken two ways - white meat done to perfection with herbs, and dark meat made into a crispy confit. Unbelievable. We got to meet the farmer whose chickens these were - the hilarious, gruff-voiced Tom Colbaugh from Happy Farm.

Really, just a perfect, perfect, perfect day.

P.S. Thanks, Mom, for being with the kids while we had the time of our lives!

1 comment:

Evelyn in Canada said...

Wow - I wonder if the farmers and chefs around my place offer anything like this. It sounds great!