Outstanding in the Field in Santa Cruz

A Truly Memorable Farm-to-Table Beach Dinner

A Truly Memorable Farm-to-Table Beach Dinner

Imagine burrowing your feet underneath warm sand while breathing in a swirl of fresh sea breeze and smoked salmon. You're surrounded by interesting new friends, engaged in intimate conversations that that seem as bottomless as the wine refills. There's no distractions, no place to be, and nothing to think about other than passing around the heavy ceramic bowls full of the freshest produce, picked literally hours before dinner service.

Yes, this event is real. It's called Outstanding in the Field. The organization connects diners with the food on their plate. Founded in 1998 by Jim Denevan, the dinners are organized all around the United States to bring diners, local farmers, and sustainable chefs together. Each event is located on or near a farm in stunning outdoor locations.

I was lucky enough to attend one of these dinners, hosted by Freewheelin' Farm in Santa Cruz, CA. The rustic, family-style dinner was prepared by Kim Alter, the executive chef of Haven restaurant in Oakland, CA. Enter my version of culinary heaven by taking a look at the photos of the food and scenery from this truly outstanding dining experience.