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Outstanding in the Field Comes to Edmond on Sunday

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Oklahoma dining continues its attempt to shoulder its way into national prominence gets a boost on Sunday when chef/artist/surfer Jim Denevan’s Outstanding in Field rolls into Edmond.

What began as a series of farm dinners in the late 1990s is now a roving culinary rock show that dazzles local foodies, gourmets, gourmands in an attempt to reconnect diners with the land and those who cultivate it.  Organic food specialists Crestview Farms, owned by Susan Graff, in Edmond will host the event Sunday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m. Local chefs Jonathon Stranger and Russ Johnson of Ludivine will lend their expertise in the kitchen and with local ingredients.

Guests tour the farm, drink wine and culminate with a family style service. Wines are paired with each course. During the meal, the local producers who provided ingredients for the menu talk about their respective crafts and diners are encouraged to ask questions.

The concept began in 1999 and has popped up its long tables at farms, gardens, mountain tops, grottos, islands and ranches.

Ingredients for the meal will come mostly from Crestview Farms but also from local producers from around the region.

Back in the summer of 1998, chef Denevan hosted a series of  producers dinners at Gabriella Cafe in Santa Cruz, California, not unlike those often produced by chef Kurt Fleischfresser at The Coach House and Will Rogers Theatre over the years.

Jim’s older brother Bill Denevan, a pioneering organic grower in California was one of those farmers that brought his ingredients and his story into the restaurant. From experience working and staying on Bill’s farm as a teen, Jim knew the farm would be an even better venue. And voila, Outstanding in the Field was born on a farm owned by Andrew Griffin, with a dinner prepared by Jim Denevan and chef Tom King.

Expansion ensued and guest chefs were recruited from around the Bay Area. Participating chefs and farmers collaborated on open air feasts at several ranches, vineyards and orchards. Notable chefs like David Kinch of Manresa, Traci des Jardins of Jardiniere, Craig Stoll of Delfina and Charles Phan of The Slanted Door joined us in the field. The support grew, guests returning again and again, with colorful plates in tow. Encouraged, in 2003 Jim organized the first events outside Northern California: an event at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York and at Coleman Family Farm near Santa Barbara.

All that was needed to take the show on the road was transportation and a big red and white bus fit the bill with help from Katy Oursler, who  joined the farm dinner team in 2003. With the help of crew of Natalie Mock and Caleb Coe, Jim and Katy hopped on the bus and hit the road and have now crossed the U.S. eight times and made it to Florence, Italy.

Since then, the team has grown and the concept sells out up to 90 events all over the country with help from farmers like Michael Grady-Roberson in New York, Romeo Coleman in Santa Barbara, Bob Munson in Boulder and Jordan Sturdy in Pemberton, British Columbia with help from chefs like Dan Barber, Paul Kahan, Frank Stitt, Mourad Lahlou, Gabrielle Hamilton and Scott Peacock.

Tickets are $180 and a few are still available if you go here.

Are you planning to go to Outstanding in the Field?

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