Outstanding in the Field brings its culinary tour to Gaining Ground Farm

Outstanding in the Field is a traveling table-to-farm dinner series that tours North America setting up its long dining table in unusual outdoor spaces to highlight the work of local farmers.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m., Outstanding in the Field will make a stop at Anne and Aaron Grier‘s Gaining Ground Farm in Leicester. The event will be the sixth appearance on the tour for chef William Dissen of The Market Place, who will create a locally inspired meal onsite over a wood fire.

Tickets are $195 and can be purchased online at OutstandingintheField.com.

Dissen’s menu for the event will be as follows:


Hors d’Oeuvres
Heirloom tomato gazpacho, garlic chips, basil extra virgin olive oil
Pork belly, peach barbecue, bread-and-butter pickles
Connemara cheddar pimento cheese, sweet pepper jelly, “everything” lavash

First Course
Foraged mushroom ragout, grilled Farm & Sparrow grits bread, pickled ramps,
Looking Glass Creamery goat cheese, farm egg, pea greens

Second Course
Crispy pork shoulder, salsa verde, fermented ahi dulce pepper relish,
dragon’s tongue beans, roasted turnips

Third Course
Wood-roasted lamb shoulder, papa cacho fingerlings, blistered padron peppers, za’atar,
queso fresco, radish, tomato coulis

Lemon verbena custard, chevre pound cake crumble, elderberry preserves, crème fraiche

PRESS RELEASE from the organizers:

Outstanding in the Field Returns to North Carolina

Chef Jim Denevan is the pioneer of pop-up dining. In the summer of 1999, Denevan came up with the idea of setting a table on a farm and inviting diners to an open-air meal in celebration of the farmer and the gifts of the land. He called it Outstanding in the Field.

On Tuesday, September 29, Outstanding in the Field’s vintage red bus lumbers into North Carolina for a dinner at Gaining Ground Farm in Leicester with Asheville Chef William Dissen of The Market Place.

This will be Chef Dissen’s 6th appearance with the traveling table-to-farm dinner series. As usual, his menu will showcase N.C. farmers and all the cooking will be done over a wood fire. “The Outstanding crew are like culinary carnies,” says the chef. “They’re the roadies and I’m the guy in the kitchen. Together, we work to create a magical experience that gives people a visceral understanding of how food actually gets from the farm and onto the plate.”

Outstanding in the Field has staged table-to-farm dinners in all 50 states across the US and nine countries around the world, welcoming more than 80,000 adventurous diners to its long table set in farm fields and orchards, on beaches and mountaintops, in barns and greenhouses. When the 2015 Tour is over, OITF will have done more than 700 table-to-farm dinners and collaborated with hundreds of talented chefs — including dozens of Top Chefs and James Beard award winners and nominees — in its roving gypsy kitchen.

“How people think about food has changed so much since the Outstanding bus first crossed the country,” says Jim Denevan. “From the beginning, we set out to inspire an appreciation for local farmers, and the food culture has traveled right along with us. We’re proud to be the hardworking roadies who set the stage for America’s rock-star farmers.”

At an Outstanding feast, you may find yourself sitting next to the local farmer who grew the greens, the rancher who raised the cattle or the cheesemaker who separated curds from whey. Fellow diners at the long table may have traveled across town or across the country. Many loyal “fieldheads” follow the culinary troupe as it travels, using an OITF dinner as the centerpiece for a visit to a place they’ve never been or to experience a favorite spot from a fresh perspective. In 2014, one guest attended 13 dinners!

OITF also does a smaller Winter Tour in January to warm-weather locales in New Orleans, Florida and Hawaii.

Purchase seats and learn more about the Outstanding in the Field’s 2015 Tour at OutstandingintheField.com, where you can also sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates.


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