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Outstanding in the Field!

You may remember that last year I attended a couple of dinners presented by the folks at Outstanding in the Field.  This organization works to connect people with food sources, educating them about local farms and farmers and they do that by working with local chefs and producers to present dinners on a farm.  Mostly in a field at the farm. 
Last year they were only in Seattle for one dinner which sold out in less than four hours!  I was lucky enough to get a ticket to that dinner and also took a little trip to Vancouver, BC to participate in a dinner there.  This year they have expanded their schedule and are offering three Seattle dinners, as well as the one in Vancouver and one in Pemberton (outside of Whistler), which means they can accommodate many more people.  Still, seating is limited so if you are interested don’t wait too long to grab a ticket. 
I’ve been having a hard time making  a decision about which dinner to attend, there are such great options!  The first dinner will be held at Full Circle Farm and the dinner prepared by Seth Caswell.  Full Circle produce is used by many of the top chefs in Seattle and they also have a booth at the University District Farmers’ Market (maybe others, too) where I buy from them.  Seth Caswell was formerly at the Stumbling Goat Bistro on Greenwood, a place I love, and is now getting ready to open a new place, Emmer and Rye this summer. 
The second dinner is at Oxbow Farm.  I don’t know as much about Oxbow, although I have purchased great things from them at the Ballard Farmers’ Market.  The chef’s for this dinner are Brian McCracken and Dana Tough the golden boys creating magic at Spur.  I’ve only been there once but loved every minute of it. 
The third Seattle dinner is a benefit for Seattle Youth Garden Works.  This is a great program that I’ve been supporting for several years.  This program works with homeless and disadvantaged kids teaching them to garden and market what they grow.  They have a booth at the University District Farmers’ Market, which is where I first learned of the program and where I try to purchase from them on a regular basis.  This dinner will be held at the UW Botanic Gardens – which I think would be a fun place for dinner – and will be prepared by Matt Dillon from Sitka and Spruce and The Corson Building.  He was the chef at the dinner I attended last year and did a great job! 
Then again I may just make a weekend of it and head up to Pemberton
While tickets are a bit spendy you need to think of this not just as a dinner but as an evening’s entertainment.  There’s a multi-course dinner (I think there were 6 courses or more at the dinners I attended); wine paired to each course; a tour of the farm; the opportunity to learn more about a farm, farming, the farmers and other producers like shellfish farmers or foragers – it depends on the dinner; and the opportunity to meet and mix with others with similar interests.  The whole event is generally four or more hours long.  When you start adding up all you get for your money, you’ll see it’s a lot.  Plus, you have the opportunity to support your own local producers. 
And for anyone reading this post who is outside the Seattle area, Outstanding in the Field has dinners all across the nation.  Many have already sold out so don’t take too long! 
My photos from Seattle; Vancouver; and Santa Cruz.  And I started a group pool on Flickr for photos from dinners across the country

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