Five years ago, we hosted our first Outstanding in the Field dinner. It was Jim Denevan and Company's first nationwide tour of holding dinners in, or adjacent to, farmers' fields. Since 1999 with dinners all over California, he has taken the chef and the diners to the field, instead of luring them to the restaurant. A wonderful concept. The dinners include local food and wine and a tour of the host farm by the farmers. Hard to do that in a restaurant!
In 2005, Denevan called and asked us if we could host one on short notice as the farmer who had promised a farm in the Hill Country had to cancel. Someone told him, "Call Boggy Creek; they are up for anything."
And we were. Of course, our farm is located in the bottom land of Old East Austin, not quite as bucolic as anywhere in the Hill Country, but we were accommodating just the same. So with only a few days notice, we were able to persuade 35 diners to be in on the experiment. Other producers (cheese, meat, wine) were invited as well. It was too short notice to entice a local chef to do the cooking, so sand artist Denevan cooked the local pork and our vegetables in our farmhouse kitchen. We recruited helpers to assist in shelling pecans, waiting tables, and washing dishes. It was a wonderful evening for the diners, if not the helpers. The food ran out before the helpers got an end-of-the-event chance at it....