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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

Event: Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field is the world’s first pop-up restaurant in a farm field. Since its first dinner in 1999, OITF's culinary caravan has staged communal feasts in all 50 US states and 16 countries around the world. For its 2020 Winter Tour to warm-weather places, OITF is traveling to two places it's never visited before but they are also coming back to Phoenix and now is your time to purchase tickets.

Host farmer: Janna Anderson Guest chefs: Samantha Sanz, Chuck Kazmer & Lance Whipple, Talavera at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

It’s always a peak experience at Pinnacle Farms. What doesn’t farmer Janna Anderson grow? Fields of golden heritage grains. A historic orchard with date trees from Iraq, peaches and many types of citrus. A plethora of vegetables including corn and a wide variety of beans you’d expect in the American Southwest. This desert paradise is a bountiful pantry for a chef, and the team from Talavera will make the most of it. Born in Nogales, Mexico, Chef Sanz worked with one of our favorite Arizona chefs, Gio Osso of Virtù, before taking the helm in Talavera’s Iberian-focused kitchen. Sam and her crew will create a Spanish-inspired menu for our long table. The Four Seasons restaurant overlooks Pinnacle Peak; this time we’ll have a similar view, but we’ll be dining under the open sky.

For this year, they also plan to set its long table on a beach on Nicaragua's beautiful Emerald Coast, about two hours from the capital city of Managua. In February, guests will dine at a cattle ranch in Australia overlooking the boho coastal town of Byron Bay in New South Wales. OITF's Winter Tour itinerary also includes two dinners on opposite sides of Oahu; south-of-the-border events at an agave farm in Oaxaca and the floating gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City; and stateside events at farms, orchards and ocean piers in Florida, Southern California, New Orleans and Phoenix.

Created by artist/chef Jim Denevan, Outstanding in the Field is a radical alternative to the conventional dining experience. Rather than source ingredients and bring them to the restaurant, Jim’s vision was to create a restaurant at the source, where guests enjoy a communal meal and the farmer’s story is told and celebrated. A single long table set in an extraordinary site where the food on the plate was harvested. Existing in that place for just that day, in grateful appreciation.

Inspired by that original idea, OITF has staged more than 1,000 table-to-farm events in all 50 U.S. states and 16 countries around the globe. Hundreds of the world’s most honored chefs, including many James Beard Award nominees and winners as well as Top Chef competitors and champions, have performed in the Outstanding field kitchen.  From a handful of events in 1999, today OITF tours nearly year-round, staging more than 100 adventurous table-to-farm events each year at grass-fed ranches and creameries, vegetable farms and fruit orchards, olive groves and date gardens, sandy beaches and trellised vineyards. 

In 2019, OITF introduced Community Table street dinners featuring local makers, designers, artists and craftspeople. “Our Community Table events expand on the foundational idea of OITF: Origin Stories,” says Denevan. “Just as we celebrate local farmers and chefs and the stories of where our food comes from, Community Table events recognize the creativity and craftsmanship that bring beauty to the table and enhance the enjoyment of breaking bread together. Where does this object come from? Whose hands created it?”

OITF's main season runs May through November across North America and around the world. A smaller winter tour in January and February visits warm-weather locales. Ticket sales are now open for the 2020 OITF Winter Tour.

The schedule for OITF's 2020 Grand Tour will be announced in early March. Ticket sales open the first day of Spring - March 19, 2020 - and many events sell out within hours.


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