Recently my husband and I attended an Outstanding in the Field farm-to-table dinner at Pie Ranch Farm in Pescadero. We were the invited guests of our good friends, Dan and Kathleen, and were delighted to be treated to such an enjoyable culinary community event.
For those of you not familiar with Outstanding in the Field, it is the brain child of Santa Cruz native, Jim Denevan who started his food career as a dishwasher, eventually cooking his way up the ranks to head chef of Gabriella Cafe ,(a romantic Santa Cruz favorite of mine) where he became known for sourcing local ingredients.
Their mission is to reconnect diners to the origins of their food and to honor the farmers and artisan chefs who create it. All of the food is sourced locally, sometimes within inches of your table, and served on a long table either outside in the field or, as in our case, inside the barn. Other exotic locations have included mountaintops and sea caves. Our dinner was prepared by celebrated local chef, Marty Cattandeo of Dio Deka in Los Gatos and the meal was indeed outstanding.
In addition to great dining, we were given a tour of the farm that included a lecture and hunt for wild mushrooms, which we were later served pickled, along with squid and grilled rib eye, all of which were fantastic. Below are some photos from our “outstanding” experience.