Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Outstanding in the field

So, I found out about this program (organization? movement?) via a design*sponge post and now I'm riveted. How do we get these guys to come to Huntsville, anyway? Naturally, Alabama superchef Frank Stitt (of Bottega and Highlands Grill in Birmingham) has already participated... I know this thanks to OITF's handy Google map of everywhere they've ever had a farm dinner:

View Outstanding in the Field Dinner Site Map in a larger map

(I created one of these for our educators visits of all of the Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative hub sites across the state - love them!)

Anyway, thinking of starting a social media campaign to get them to visit Huntsville.

I'm thinking a Ledges/Mezza Luna collaboration. But of course I am biased. Nowhere in their FAQ does OITF break down how to get a meal in your area, so I'm going to go ahead and assume it's all contacts and convincing.

I would definitely save (and save, and save) $200 for an experience like this:

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure - literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.

Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.

The dinners generally begin at 3 or 4 p.m., depending on the time of the year, and wrap up around sunset. As the days get shorter in the fall, the dinners last until candlelight is required. Length of each event is four to five hours, and guests often linger at-table well past sunset, reluctant to have the magical evening come to a close.

So, who's with me?! Let's get this campaign started so we can have a fabulous meal at a table like this one, in the DC area...

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