Outstanding in the Field: Secret Cove Dinner
Last Saturday we went to Outstanding in the Field, it was so amazing! Our friends Anh Minh and Jon were miraculously able to get tickets (it sold out in 14 minutes!) Our dinner was held in a beach cove about 5 miles north of Santa Cruz. I have wanted to attend one for several years so I was really excited and curious how it would actually go. The whole idea behind Outstanding in the Field is to bring the table to the farm. You get to see where your food was grown and talk to the farmer and then an awesome chef makes an amazing meal. We drove down Highway 1 from San Francisco and arrived at 3pm to a reception with really amazing passed hors d’oeuvres. After about an hour they gathered everyone together and we heard from Jim Denevan and Leah Scafe who run Outstanding in the Field. Then they had the fisherman who provided the seafood talk about the marine ecology and the types of fishing he does. From there we walked up to a farm just behind the beach where a farmer talked about the kinds of crops they grow and their challenges. It was really interesting and I was surprised how much I loved hearing about all that. Then it was time for dinner! The beach has an inlet that fills when the tide comes in so they had built a makeshift bridge that we walked on to get to the table. It was an adventure just to get there! As someone who loves throwing pop-up dinner parties I was really curious about the logisitics of how they set everything up. From the pictures I had wondered if they actually had curved tables built. To create the long curved tables they just turn the tables a bit, no one minds the little gaps. I had also wondered how they served that many people hot food in the outdoors! Each course was served family style. A server brings out the food to the table of eight and then the table passes the serving dish around. The food was really good and there were lots of courses. In between courses people got up and walked along the beach and chatted, it was really relaxing and fun. As we ate the tide rose and the waves were splashing right behind us (some of the people at the table nearest the beach even got wet!) When the sun began going down they passed out blankets and started a bonfire. People gathered around the fire and watched the ocean. It was really really wonderful. After dessert Paul and I had to leave quickly because it was already 8pm and we had to get back to our sitter in the city. It was a really great experience and I can not wait to do it again!
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