From the Malibu Pier to Temecula Olive Oil Company, This Is an Unforgettable Dinner Experience
Outstanding in the Field provides an elaborate dining experience like no other—a roving restaurant without walls. Situated in beautiful destinations across the country, a long communal table in nature sets the mood for each evening. A total of 84 events will be hosted this year across the US, Mexico, Europe and Africa. From secluded, breezy beach destinations and rolling vineyards to secret locations and city streets, diners will feel a connection to the land as they enjoy chef-curated dishes.
Intended to connect guests to the origin of their food and create conversation with a group of strangers, founder Jim Denevan says, “I dreamed of having an environment where the deeper story about where our food comes from could be told.” Denevan was inspired by his older brother’s work as an organic farmer, and he soon realized how incredibly interesting the work of agriculture was. Outstanding in the Field was born in 1999 to create this one-of-a-kind dining experience situated outdoors in nature. Denevan hopes guests gain a different perspective on food after attending an OITF dinner. “[My goal is] for people to look at things differently when they’re at the grocery store, and to support farmers and chefs and the whole ecosystem of people working with each other,” he says.
“I dreamed of having an environment where the deeper story about where our food comes from could be told.”—Jim Denevan
Host farmers and guest chefs help bring this experience to life. Here in California, guest chefs this year have included Gladys North of Mbombo Restaurant, Leah Di Bernardo of E.A.T. Marketplace and Andy Huynh of Full Steam Dumpling. “Finding venues and local chefs is one of the most fun parts of the job,” Denevan explains. The relationship among the farmers, chefs and land of each event is what ends up making each dinner so special. Showing up to a dinner feels like you are part of a secret club—after parking your car, you truly have no idea what to expect as you walk up to the venue. There’s an incredible energy around you from those putting on the event and those attending the event, all with some sort of passion for food and community. With dinner served family-style, it’s a wonderful opportunity to chat with strangers and hear their stories.EXP 12/29
After a year-long hiatus in 2020, Denevan says, “It’s fantastic to be in a place where people are celebrating getting back together; we’re outside, and it’s a fantastic environment that has emerged from a time of separation.” Whether you’re searching for an exquisite meal or craving that authentic community connection (with strangers or close friends), Outstanding in the Field provides a memorable experience.
Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!