Well, that's exactly what Jim Denevan imagined. He then worked tirelessly, nurturing that dream into fruition. Outstanding In the Field is the fruit of his vision. With a mission of reconnecting diners to the fields from where their food is sourced, the organization details itself thusly:
Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.
Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.
I love this concept. We have a field on our property that we refer to as the "lower field," simply because it is located down the hill from the house, which sits up on a knob. Hubs and I have long discussed how fun and amazing and inspiring and beautiful it would be to have a meal in that field. We love the idea of tables and chairs positioned down there, heaving under bowls and platters of locally sourced food, as guests feast and relax and enjoy the splendor of it all.
Jim Denevan has put together a gem of a cookbook inspired by his transient repasts. Outstanding In the Field is a truly wonderful book. Equal parts stunning and inspiring, it'll have you trawling farmer's markets as soon as the first offerings of spring appear. I'd like to give away a copy to one small measure reader. All that's needed to enter is to leave a comment below detailing your favorite seasonal item to cook. It's SO hard to choose, but if backed into a corner and forced, at knifepoint, to choice, I'd probably say basil. Fresh from the garden and pulverized into submission, nothing tastes more redolent of "summer" to me than just-made basil pesto. Just thinking of it now has me wanting to trade my felt slippers for flip-flops, my flannel p.j.'s for a tank top.
In your comment, please leave a means of contacting you, should you be the winner, via either a link back to your own blog or website or with your email address. I'll run the giveaway through next Wednesday, midnight EST. Canadians, feel free to comment away.
I'm planning to begin hosting a number of themed potlucks out here in the coming seasons. Who knows. Maybe the lower field will finally embody that food-laden vision Hubs and I have been tossing around all of these years!
UPDATE: Oh my goodness, I totally forgot to announce the winner! Big congratulations to EcoGrrl! And thank you so very much to everyone who entered!