Last night we went to an event, "Outstanding in the Field". This is a national group which tours the United States setting up a table for 100 to 200 people on farms, in vineyards or orchards and and serving a 4 course seated dinner, accompanied by wines, to all who attend. The dinner spotlights a local farmer and a well know Chef. The event last evening was at the "Carriage House Farm", North Bend, OH and the Chef was from the "Metropole Restaurant" at the 21c hotel.
We arrived at the farm about 2:30, signed in and had drinks and hors d'overs before a description of the history, of the event, and a tour of the farm. "Outstanding in the Field" started approx. 10 years ago with 3 dinners and this season has grown to 86 events all over the US. The basic crew, 9 to 10 people, travel in a converted bus and two pick up trucks with trailers. They arrive the night before and set up a portable kitchen and the long table, starting at sunrise on the day of the party. The basic group is augmented by the Chef and his kitchen staff, servers from the Chef's restaurant, and people who work on the farm, about 30 in all. Impressive.
Our dinner was as follows:
Fire roasted pumpkins filled with arugula, toasted pine nuts and ricotta salata
Wine - Cantina del Taburno, Falanghina, Campania 2012
Traditional polenta, milled on site, pork sugo (ragu) braised hearty greens ( mostly kale), Gretchen's peppers, KO mushrooms in salami butter
Wine - Nicolas Potel Bourgogne 2011
Smoked sorghum coffee rubbed Marksbury Farm striploin (very chewy) embered onions and kennebec potatoes, radish, fried sage, arugula
Wine - Can Blau Montsant
Chocolate ginger tart,( crispy, nutty crust) charred pears and cinnamon meringue
My personal favorites were the polenta (two helpings) and the Chocolate tart ( a piece and a half). The meringue brought back the memory of home made marshmallows.
The wines were perfectly satisfactory but nothing memorable. All in all the evening was a huge success and a memory that will not be soon forgotten.