Sharp foodie, Beverly Basiga, attended outstanding in the Field's feast at Brooklyn Grange. Below is her take on the event.
In the foodie world, a chef's name can bear the weight of a Hollywood celeb. When you combine these innovative chefs with local farmers to orchestrate a beautifully curated farm-to-table harvest dinner – a new level is reached.
Started in the summer of 1999, Outstanding in the Field celebrated its very first dinner at a local farm in Santa Cruz, CA. Since then, the team has traveled from state to state reaching all 50 states, hosting harvest dinners at local vineyards, farms, beaches, and more. A typical event is composed of a cocktail hour, a tour of the venue, and a three-course dinner plus dessert.
Outstanding in the Field's mission is simple. Founder, Jim Denevan created it with the goal of reconnecting diners to the origins of their food and honoring the local artisans – farmers, chefs, foragers, and winemakers – who cultivate it.
I first learned about Outstanding in the Field from Bob Ireland, Sharp's EVP and Creative Director, and his experience in Maine – it sounded cool, but escaped my mind 30 minutes later. Fortunately for me, I'm surrounded by a great group of food enthusiasts and the most organized PR girls, so naturally, a calendar invite popped up on my computer as a reminder to purchase my ticket for an upcoming dinner in Brooklyn. It was either fate or 100% pure luck, but as life would have it, I scored a highly coveted ticket to one of the best dining experiences I've ever had.
In standard Brooklyn fashion, my feast took place on a rooftop farm at Brooklyn Grange at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A vibrant plate of Montauk pearl oysters featuring Kings County Distillery moonshine vinaigrette and cucumbers greeted me upon arrival, along with endless rounds of other delicious passed appetizers. Side note: I am not a fan of oysters, but I couldn't resist and I had to have one! It was tasty (but sadly oysters are still not my thing).
Following a farm tour and learning all about how to sustain a rooftop farm, all 120-ish diners, including myself, eagerly took our seats in preparation to feast on the meals made by the artistic Chef TyLör Boring of the Tipsy Parson. The team meticulously delivered each family-style dish, which featured an assortment of kale, basil, heirloom tomatoes, and other freshly harvested produce, handpicked no less than 10 feet from my seat at the table, and naturally, was accompanied by a refreshing glass of wine to complement each course.
There are no words to describe just how cool the Outstanding in the Field experience is. It provided a fantastic and rare opportunity – sharing much laughter and cornbread with like-minded food experientialists from all across the country.
On my way out, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to Chef TyLör and his team in the elevator. Needless to say, I am looking forward to Outstanding in the Field 2016.
*Featured photo courtesy of Outstanding In The Field