Summer is all about gathering with friends. Long leisurely dinners under the night sky. Laughter and togetherness. If you hadn’t heard, Outstanding in the Field is one of the ultimate arrangers of summer bliss. A traveling food celebration where you are seated at a beautiful and very long table that winds though a farm, along a beach, a hidden cove, the table extends with no end in sight. Dining with new friends for one extraordinary evening at places unknown and tucked away in fields and farm areas. Of course, they had me at “traveling for food”.
That made me think. Why do we cook? To nourish ourselves? To gather and talk.? To visit with friends and family? I cook to create. I cook to eat good wholesome food and linger over a table with people I love. Savoring a glass of wine and enjoying one’s company.
Receiving a gift certificate for Outstanding in the Field was the first step. These events are held all over the US and in a few places in Europe. Guided by the schedule of chefs and the location I had to make a choice. Wattles Farm in Hollywood was an all Vegan event. My choice was made for me. Even more intriguing was that Wattles has a huge farm and garden right off the steps of Hollywood.
Wattles Farm has been operating in Hollywood since 1975. An organic community garden where people can enjoy growing their own food at the numerous plots generously available for rent. The lush garden is filled with fruit trees, roses, and herbs of all kinds.
Everything about this “Outstanding in the Field” event was played out perfectly. You are given directions to your destination. Arrive by 4 pm for cocktails and tours of the garden. Hors d’ouvres are passed as you mingle and appreciate the outdoor space you are in. Taking the time to meet and greet other foodies.
You are requested to bring your own dinner plate, however, if that is not possible they have plenty of plates to share. When it’s time for the dinner to begin, locate your plate or choose one of theirs and find a seat at the extensive table that has been set beautifully under the trees.
The dinner is served family style to ensure you have a chance to meet fellow guests and partake in the dinner together. Wine is paired and poured generously. Throughout the dinner, there was ample time to taste and discuss each course. Every dish has been prepared just steps from where you are seated. The aroma swirls in the air around you as you await the various courses one by one. Expertly garnished with fresh cut herbs and delivered to the table. As the wine is poured you discuss the vintage and why it has been paired with each dish.
As the dinner unfolds and the sun has begun to set just a little, the air brings about the slightest chill. I have just taken the greatest pleasure in polishing off one of the best strawberry shortcakes ever. Served with Harry’s Berries (a LA thing) and the tiniest drops of whipped cream that left an explosion of flavor in my mouth.
How did five hours pass so effortlessly? Each and every course was delicate yet hardy. All too soon people began to slowly vacate the table. Lingering just long enough to say good-bye.
I had the privilege of attending this fantastic event with my cousin. She lives in LA and she too has her own garden filled with vegetable, herbs flowers and yes chickens. I will forever have a different perspective about Los Angeles.
- Outstanding in the Field presents their entire tour schedule online and tickets go on sale every year in March the first day of Spring!