Public Service Announcement: there’s a traveling bus, table and quirky crew that stop at farms all around the country and bring delicious dinners, drinks and desserts to you – all courtesy of local farms and chefs. Outstanding in the Field (OITF). No matter where you are, I bet they’ve come close.
Last summer, we dined with them in Whitefield, ME, and proceeded to stalk their 2014 scheduling knowing they would very likely stop somewhere near our new digs around the Bay. We opted for the “Big Sur Secret Location”…
There’s not a single bad spot along Highway 1, heading south to Big Sur. The scenery stuns and amazes, mile after mile. If nothing else, we did this for the drive and the confidence that you can’t go wrong with doing anything in Big Sur. Confirmed.
We parked about 15 minutes away (driving) from the actual spot, as there’s no parking near this hideaway. An OITF shuttle took us to/from. We arrived to the familiar bus, without the usual farm setting. We may not have been surrounded by fields of vegetation, but our table was perked right atop a cliff and backed by the Pacific Ocean. (Literally, take 2 steps away from those back seats and adios!, down the cliff you go!)
With each OITF event you’re treated to appetizers and local libations; in this case, we had freshly baked flatbread pizzas with artichokes and smoked leek sauce, sea urchin, mussels, dashi braised pork belly and Alma Rosa wines.
Chef: Clark Staub, of Full of Life Flatbread (Santa Barbara, CA)
Farms: Sea Stephanie Fish; The Abalone Farm (Cayucos, CA), Drake Family Farms.
We dined on Abalone and seaweed soup to start (a first for these two!), fresh vegetables and herbs, and white sea bass for the main dish (fine by this pescetarian!). Our dessert was a spiced walnut cake with pine and wild fig ice-cream, and all courses were accompanied by wine pairings. Each section of the long group table is served family-style, so you get plenty of eats and friendly conversations!
We’re already anxiously awaiting the 2015 schedule, as we fully intent to capitalize on our current California to catch this delightful crew once or twice next year. It’s a pricey ticket, but considering the full afternoon-to-evening experience, delicious local eats and should-you-choose-to-indulge beer/wine pairings, it’s more than worth the splurge.
Have you joined them for a dinner? Any location recommendations? We’ve planned a trip around this meal before and will likely do it again…