Eating farm-to-table is all the rage these days and new farm-to-table restaurants are popping up all over the country.
Having lived in large cities like New York City and Los Angeles I know that smaller cities like St. Petersburg, Fla., the one I now live in, are often months or years behind the trends. My city has however finally started to embrace the farm-to-table concept and I’m thrilled.
So although I’ve dined in several farm-to-table restaurants in my state and others, last night I experienced what it means to truly eat farm-to-table by attending an Outstanding-in-the-Field dinner!
Our table literally sat on the fields of the farm where the food had been picked and prepared especially for our group of about 150 diners.
The night started with a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres while the main table was being prepared. And although I wasn’t brave enough to try the frog legs the rest of the offerings were amazing.
After the cocktail reception, we received a tour of the farm and then with our plates in hand (you bring your own) joined the other guests at one long white table in the field.
As the sun began to set behind the trees, the Outstanding in the Field staff brought small candles to the table and we finished dessert by candlelight.
My husband and I are already committed to attending one event a year. Who knows, we may even travel to an event in another state. Both the Maine and Sonoma, CA events pique my interest.
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience that will also make you more intimate with your food, I would suggest signing up for a true farm-to-table experience. I have to say that the Outstanding in the Field event that I attended with my husband was one of the most unique experiences we’ve ever had. It will definitely be a date-night to remember.
What I learned from eating on the farm:
Actually eating “on” the farm is spectacular. Just being out with nature—tractors in the field, chickens in the coop, cows in the pasture—makes the experience like no other.
The number of incredible recipes you can make with only ingredients coming from the farm is more robust than even I anticipated.
Dining with 150+ people you’ve never met before provides a welcome opportunity to make new friends.
I should thank our farmers—especially our organic ones—for all their hard work. Farming isn’t an easy job and being on the farm and meeting those that do it was a nice reality check. I felt lucky to have farmers that care about our food and our environment.
If you're interested in attending a true farm to table event, check out Outstanding in the Field—you won't be sorry! And maybe we'll see you there!