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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!

  1. Janelle

    June 6, 2012

    Now that is a dinner party!!

    Must add one of these dinners on my bucket list. Love the curved table look on the sand.

  2. r8chel

    June 6, 2012

    Your OITF dinner looks glamorous! When I first heard of OITF last year, I checked the schedule and saw that there was one being held just a mile from where I work. I know I should have been excited, but eating dinner in a field I drive past all the time just didn’t appeal to me. 🙂 Still, I love seeing pictures from other OITF events!

  3. Anni

    June 6, 2012

    That looks amazing! I’m dying to go to one of the Chicago area ones!

  4. Erika

    June 6, 2012

    Wow! That looks amazing! I really want to go to one of these… they all look so amazing. Definitely something to add to the summer bucket list!

  5. The New Diplomats Wife

    June 6, 2012

    such a fantastic experience – we’ve been putting aside for one in the DC area but i think it’s definitely such a memorable investment!

  6. LaTrelle

    June 6, 2012

    It sounds amazing! I looked it up when you posted about it from Paris and was bummed that the Chicago one was sold out. I’m on the list and can’t wait to experience this.

  7. Tara Johnson

    June 6, 2012

    How interesting! I’ve never heard of this. Thanks for sharing. What an experience! I don’t know that my husband would be game since he is plant strong / vegan now (and I am too, well mostly … !).


  8. thecircleofit

    June 6, 2012

    how beautiful and amazing is that….no froo haha but back to basics: people, good food, nature, etc….i wish i had been there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Sarah

    June 6, 2012

    good job on getting those secret cove tickets! They sell out so fast, I feel like it must be some of the same people going back year after year. I got to go to a dinner already this spring (it was only their third one of the season) and I get the biggest smile on my face when I think about how magical the evening was. I tell everyone, yes it seems expensive for an evening out, but for as much as they do, I don’t know how OITF is making any money at all. It is truly a labor of love.

  10. Lisa

    June 6, 2012

    Hi everybody, Thanks so much for the comments- and the post, Jordan!
    Our sea cove dinners always sell out quickly, but we do have seats available for a midweek event next week on Weds., June 13. In case anyone wants a little getaway! Best ~ Lisa

  11. Magda

    June 6, 2012

    This looks amazing! How can we find out about these events in our area?

  12. Evani G

    June 6, 2012

    Incredible idea! I want to go to one so bad!


  13. Karina

    June 6, 2012

    Oh my goodness! That’s what these photos are from! I’ve seen them before (perhaps on Pinterest) but could never source it. That is so amazing you were able to go! What an awesome experience. Wish they had something like this in NY.

  14. Amorette Gwynn

    June 6, 2012

    WOW! Thank you for sharing!!!! I just bought two tix for the Rehoboth Beach, DE one in September!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Jen

    June 6, 2012

    Looks like a wonderful time, but I can’t get over how expensive the tickets are. Where do the profits go?

  16. Igor

    June 6, 2012

    This is truly amazing. Would love to join such a dinner one day!

  17. mom in mendon

    June 6, 2012

    A great report on a fun night! What was the actual menu? The dishes?

    FWIW, they do something like that here in China–the “Happy Farmer” experience. People from the city go to the farmer’s property. He pulls a fish out of his pond, guts it and cooks it on their grill. They feed you outside at tables under arbor-like coverings. Side dishes include wild greens they’ve gather from the nearby hills. In the evening they light red lanterns overhead.

  18. Rachel

    June 6, 2012

    So cool! I wanna eat dinner on a beach! What a treat for foodie and outdoorsy folks alike.

  19. Anne

    June 6, 2012

    We went to one at Green String Farms a few years ago and it was magical . . .

  20. Leslie

    June 7, 2012

    Really amazing! Looks like a fabulous experience. I really am rather envious.

  21. Sweet Harvest Moon

    June 7, 2012

    This looks beyond amazing!

  22. Kitten Roar

    June 7, 2012

    this made my heart swell. this looks AMAZING. dinner on the beach? bonfires? truly beautiful.

  23. lindseybee

    June 7, 2012

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say those noodles are neon! This looks so surreal & beautiful & a dream–what a lovely idea to gather people in such a way. Thanks for sharing for those of us who may never get a chance to experience this! The photos are breathtaking!

  24. kate

    June 7, 2012

    this is amazing… i wish there was a GIVEAWAY, wink, wink 🙂

  25. Amy

    June 7, 2012

    I have always wanted to do this and there is going to be one right here in Petaluma! However, with my husband out of work for two years now, we just can’t afford to do an event like this that costs $200 per person.

  26. Amy

    June 7, 2012

    How come I didn’t know about this while I was in san fran all those years! shame shame! Hope you are enjoying life back there! miss you guys!

  27. Orchid

    June 10, 2012

    Wow I’m so jealous! Outstanding in the Field sounds like an amazing experience (and it looks like it too, from your photos!). I’ve definitely added this to my bucket list 🙂

  28. Katy

    June 10, 2012

    WOW!That sounds amazing!!!!So cool!
    Thanks for sharing!

  29. Hillary Butler {Fine Art}

    June 11, 2012

    I am so incredibly JEALOUS! I’ve been wanting to go to one of these for quite some time and to go to one this cool in San Fran would be an out of body experience. Thanks for sharing- those pictures look amazing!!!!!

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