You’ve heard of farm-to-table, but what about table-to-farm?
The farm-to-table movement has grown steadily in popularity over the last few years. As more and more consumers become interested in locally sourced foods, an increasing number of restaurants have begun to embrace farm-to-table concepts. However, there is one company that is flipping the farm-to-table concept on its head.
Outstanding in the Field is a ‘traveling restaurant’ whose concept borrows from such hot foodie trends as food trucks, farm-to-table dining and communal restaurants. The idea is to take the diners to the farm to highlight the origins of their food and to celebrate the farmers and local food producers who make it all possible. This is done by setting up long tables at farms around the US, inviting diners out to the farm, conducting a farm tour and ending the night with a big communal meal prepared with ingredients from the fields and enjoyed by guests, producers and chefs alike.
On the road
Jim Denevan started Outstanding in the Field with the first farmer dinners in Santa Cruz, Calif. Since then, the organization has invested in a bus that tours such diverse locations as Louisiana, New York, Texas and Kentucky. The crew has even ventured beyond the continental U.S. with events in Hawaii, Alaska, Ireland and Italy.
A learning experience
Outstanding in the Field events are great for students of online culinary courses. The opportunity to tour the farms of local food producers gives students a unique perspective and understanding of where ingredients come from. By understanding how certain ingredients are produced, students develop a sense of how to discern the quality of the food they are using to prepare a dish. The best meals come from the best ingredients, and the best ingredients come fresh from the farm, so attending an Outstanding in the Field event allows students to supplement the techniques they are learning online with the experience of sourcing local food. For a schedule of events check out Outstanding in the Fields website.