Jim Denevan was working as a chef in 1996 when he invited a farmer to the restaurant to talk about the food he grew. Three years later, Denevan took his diners to the farm where they had dinner in the field—literally. Today, his group, called Outstanding in the Field, hosts more than sixty farm dinners across the country each year. Denevan and his staff of six roam around in an old RV to all the locations, where they team up with local chefs and farmers.
If Outstanding in the Field comes to a town near you, by all means go. I attended a dinner hosted by Matthew and Allison Mills Neal of Arugula’s Star Farm in Columbia, Tenn. After a tour of the farm (and a little prosecco), we all grabbed a plate (some brought their own) and made our way to the table set up alongside a babbling brook. I don’t know which was loveliest—the setting, the meal or the conversation. It was an outstanding evening.
By Jill Melton, Relish editor-in-chief