Message from the Founder

In the summer of 1999, I came up with the idea of setting a long table on a farm and inviting the public to an open-air feast in celebration of the farmer and the gifts of the land. I decided to call this idea Outstanding in the Field. I thought a big table, carefully composed alongside the ingredients for the evening’s feast would inspire both a conversation at the table and a broader discussion about food, community and the meaning of place. A traveling feast with a central vision of farmers, chefs, cheese makers, ranchers, foragers and winemakers in delicious communion with the people they sustain. It would be a terrific challenge to bring this message to the field and to the world — it would also be a lot of fun and adventure.

It’s been 15 years since we set the first table near Santa Cruz, California at Andy Griffin’s Mariquita Farm. Since then, we’ve organized more than 600 Outstanding in the Field events, made twelve coast-to-coast tours of North America, visited all 50 of the United States and set our table in a total of ten countries. 80,000+ people have come out to the farm — or ranch, or sea cove, or vineyard, or rooftop, or sea cave — to understand, learn from and celebrate the farmer.

See you on the farm!

Jim Denevan