Outstanding in the field tours back to Texas
Long ribbons of white-linen-clad tables, flanked with dozens of blond wooden chairs in a unique field setting, Outstanding In The Field (OITF) is a dinner event where a local chef comes to a local farm to cook and celebrate locally grown food, farmers’ hard work and the beauty of the land where our food grows.
“A tour of the farm and meeting local farmers and producers who supply the ingredients and join at the table are part of the experience,” says Jim Denevan, OITF founder, chef and artist, who has been touring the U.S. to bring the dinner table to the farm since 2003. After more than 800 events in all 52 states (and several abroad), the 12th OITF tour of tables kicked off on August 2, in Welch, Minnesota, and rounds it up in Hawaii. Houston is on the itinerary with not one but two events. On October 20 (the event sold out in July) Oxheart’s Justin Yu teams up with Last Organic Outpost, Houston’s longstanding community research farm in the 5th ward.
Then, on October 21, the table will be set in the rolling pastures of Blue Heron Farm, a short drive from Houston. Cheesemaker Lisa Seger is over the moon: “We are still pinching ourselves. They are such amazing, participatory artful happenings. And they do such a great job of celebrating (and fairly compensating) farmers and connecting them with the larger community.” Seger has attended three OITF events, two of which were cooked by Monica Pope, who is the chef for OITF at Blue Heron Farm.
“We met Monica when, as brand new (legally, anyway) cheese farmers, we cold-asked her if she could use our cheese for the 2008 OITF at Jolie Vue Farm where she was cooking. We were unabashedly begging for two of the farmers’ seats at the table. She accepted, we went and it was—in a word— magical.”
Outstanding In The Field Tour 2015 is in Houston October 20 (Justin Yu/Last Organic Outpost), and October 21 (Monica Pope/Blue Heron Farm). For more information: outstandinginthefield.com.