Last year we were honored to be asked to host an Outstanding in the Field farm dinner! And now we’re thrilled to announce that we will be hosting our second farm dinner this fall! We’ve had a change in our chef line-up and we’re honored to announce that our guest chefs will be Chef Josh Poletti of Pastaria, chef Nick Blue of Brassarie, Chef Nate Hereford of Niche, Heather Stone of Taste and Ashley Shelton of Pastaria. Basically, the entire Niche Restaurant Group will be collaborating for this incredible dinner. On October 11th, we’ll be opening up our farm once again to the wonderful crew of Outstanding in the Field and enthusiastic diners. But more than the food (which is excellent), more than the service (which is above and beyond), this event is all about the diners and community around the table. We can’t wait to see familiar faces and meet new ones! But first, to get you excited, here’s some more information about Outstanding in the Field and our farm dinner last year.
A little more about Outstanding in the Field:
“Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure, literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors, a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.
Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.”
I really can’t say enough about our OITF experience last year. The dinner was just two weeks after our wedding (which was also at the farm) and two days after we got our 11 Iowa Swabian Hall pigs! It was an exciting time. The morning of the dinner, chef Josh Poletti, chef Josh Galliano and the crew of the Libertine came out and started prepping dinner. The OITF crew had some in the night before to camp out and get a head start on setting up the table and kitchen. It was really the most exciting day. Oh, besides the wedding. But less butterflies and less dresses and suits. But same amount of champagne.
The guests started arriving and congregating near our fresh water springs for cocktails and passed appetizers. Towards the end of cocktail hour, Jim from OITF gave a speech about what they do, then Dave and I talked about what we do. Then on with the tour! I wish we had more time for the tour so we could go into more detail about everything but my stomach was really growling and dinner was almost ready!
Dave and I led the diners to the table. It was set up in one of our fields, and it seemed to be floating among the amber sea of hay and tall pasture grasses. It was like the table just magically appeared out of nowhere. We all sat down at the community 100+ person table and braced ourselves for the special dinner that await ahead of us.
The dinner was four courses of farm fresh products that we had harvested just days before. Each course was paired perfectly with wine. The evening went on and just as dessert had finished, the sun set and the moon shone onto our table. Candles were lit along the table and along the path back to the parking area. As diners left, we stayed and chatted with the OITF crew and Libertine crew into all hours of the night.
It was really a wonderful experience, not just as a host farm, but also as a diner. Just thinking about the whole day and the meal gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes my mouth start to water. We can’t wait to start planning and preparing our farm for our second year of hosting! This year we’ll have so much more to offer for the dinner. Not only will we have all of the delicious farm fresh produce, but we’ll also have our maple syrup, goat’s milk, foraged foods, chicken and duck eggs AND our first pasture raised heritage Iowa Swabian Hall hog. And many, many more! I can’t wait to see what The Libertine will plan for this year’s dinner but it won’t be one to miss, I can promise you that! Trust me, if you have the opportunity to attend any Outstanding in the Field farm dinner, GO! But to be honest, we would love to see you at the table in our field!