Farm to table. Local. Sustainable. Home grown. Artisan. These words seem to be part of nearly every restaurant experience these days. In many ways, these concepts have made dining more enjoyable, or at least make you feel like you are more connected to your food. But what if you could have a delicious meal while sitting on the actual farm the food was raised on? Or better yet, could meet those farmers and chat with them before you dine? Thanks to Outstanding in the Field, you can.
For over 15 years, Outstanding in the Field has been traveling the world via bus, bringing people together one dinner at a time over a ridiculously good looking long table. OITF guests enjoy a multi-course meal prepared by amazing chefs with the freshest ingredients one could possibly find. Each event is hosted on a farm (pig farm, dairy farm, oyster farm – you name it) through which guests receive a guided tour by the farmers prior to dinner. To date, OITF has hosted over 800 dinners in all 50 states and twelve countries.
DRY Sparkling has had the honor of traveling with the team (well our bottles, at least :)) to pair our carefully crafted beverages with their locally sourced meals. Think clams in white wine sauce with pork cheeks served alongside a refreshing bottle of Blood Orange DRY. Or Lavender DRY in a tart cherry juice and gin cocktail. We love being a part of this amazing tour and supporting the farms and chefs that make these outstanding meals.
For the past few years, a few of our team members have been lucky enough to attend their dinners in Washington, and each time we leave more and more impressed! The friendliness, knowledge and passion of the OITF staff is equally as satisfying as the meal. The environments in which they host are created by nature, but tweaked by OITF charm, resulting in a dreamy yet imperfectly perfect setting. And the bits of knowledge you gain about the nearby ecosystems, farming traditions and carefully crafted food and drink are fabulous intangible souvenirs.
Each year, the tour kicks off in Northern California at a farm near Santa Cruz where they are based. After that, dinners are held anywhere from Argentina to Sharon Springs, NY, to Decatur, GA, to Lilliwaup, WA. With over 90 meals on the schedule and opportunities to host your own private OITF events, you’re almost certain to find a dinner nearby to attend.
What else can you expect from their dinners? We’ve got five tips to help you make the most out of your experience.
1. Come hungry. Even before dinner starts, small appetizers, cocktails and wine await your arrival. Then, throughout the meal, you’ll be served several courses, complete with amazing local wine and DRY Sparkling pairings. You’ll want to savor every last bite… and each sip, too.
2. Make it an experience! Because the dinners are on farms, locations are often far outside major cities. AKA, deep. Plan to explore the destination prior to dinner or even stay overnight!
3. BYOP = bring your own plate. Since the first Outstanding in the Field dinner, guests have been asked to bring their own plates, so a piece of everyone’s home is present around the table. This tradition is still very much alive today. You get to use your own plate and they even give it a scrub for you before you leave.
4. Keep your shoes casual. As you now know, the events are hosted on farms, so you may have to make a trek through a field, over a footbridge, or through a sandy beach to get to your table. Keep your attire classy, but comfortable.
5. Get ready to meet some awesome people. There’s one extra-long table that seats the entire crowd and all dishes are served family style. It’s easy to open up conversation with someone new as they ask you to pass the bread, pork shoulder or berry compote. You’ll be sure to leave with new friends in the end!
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Outstanding In The Field and check out their latest tour dates. If you can’t find an event near you, don’t panic! You can host your own private event as well. And if you decide to treat yourself to this amazing experience, please let us know! Share your photos using the hashtag #DRYSparkling so we can check them out. We’ll be thrilled to see you there, and probably (ok definitely) a touch envious, too.