Outstanding in the Field: A Farm to Table Cookbook

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Instead of bringing food to guests in a traditional restaurant setting, Jim Denevan brings diners to their food, creating what Alice Waters has called “the restaurant I always imagined.” His innovative organization, Outstanding in the Field, sets up dinner tables in fields, ranches, dairies, vineyards, and community gardens across the country for alfresco meals that truly reconnect us with the land and people that produce our food.

In Outstanding in the Field, Denevan presents a...

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Overview

Instead of bringing food to guests in a traditional restaurant setting, Jim Denevan brings diners to their food, creating what Alice Waters has called “the restaurant I always imagined.” His innovative organization, Outstanding in the Field, sets up dinner tables in fields, ranches, dairies, vineyards, and community gardens across the country for alfresco meals that truly reconnect us with the land and people that produce our food.

In Outstanding in the Field, Denevan presents a cookbook full of seasonally inspired dishes from his farm-fresh dinners, sharing more than one hundred recipes with home cooks and food lovers everywhere. Celebrating local ingredients at their height of freshness, favorites include Haricot Vert and Early Girl Tomato Salad with Summer Savory; Burrata Cheese with Nectarines, Mâche, and Hazelnuts; Sea Scallops with Sugar Snap Peas and Chervil; Pure Maple Syrup–Braised Short Ribs; Green Tomato Marmalade; and Upside-Down Fresh Fig Cake. All of the recipes present opportunities to use the most flavorful produce, meats, and cheeses in the area where you live—and suggestions for substitutions when necessary.

America’s appetite for organic and local food has never been stronger and there is no better guide to this growing movement than Jim Denevan. With inspiring recipes, beautiful photographs throughout of farms and food across the country, and information on finding local ingredients and helping Community Supported Agriculture and community gardens, Outstanding in the Field is a cookbook that celebrates the pleasures of raising, preparing, and enjoying good food.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Denevan used to be a regular, indoor chef, but inspired by foragers who brought seasonal wild foods like miner's lettuce and chanterelles to his kitchen, he began preparing feasts outdoors, in fields and orchards, using the foods at hand and giving eaters a personal introduction to the providers and sources of their meals. This cookbook, named after his traveling al fresco restaurant, brings the fruits of his labors to anybody's kitchen, at least theoretically. Recipes tend toward the exotic: Wild Rice Baked with Chicken, Fennel, and Porcini; Nettle Tagliatelle with Nettle Purée; Fried Squash Blossoms with Lavender Ricotta. Even mundane dishes like stewed green beans are jazzed up with chiles and anchovies. Novices chefs and time-strapped cooks may be intimidated by some of the more labor-intensive recipes, but others will be enticed by such mouth-watering recipes as Smoky Sturgeon and Potato Ravioli and Fresh Lamb Sausage. Interspersed are description of community gardens and vineyards, farmers and fishermen, complete with discourses on raw vs. pasteurized milk and sustainable fish choices. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Outstanding in the Field is the name of Denevan's "roving culinary adventure," an organization designed to encourage people to reconnect with the land, specifically through their local farmers and producers. Denevan was chef of Gabriella CafA© in Santa Cruz, CA, when he began serving weekly dinners featuring the small farmers who supplied many of his ingredients. Eventually these "farmer dinners" became "farm dinners"-and today he and his crew spend four months each year traveling across America and catering dinners for 80 in the fields of small farms, vineyards, or dairies, the menus based on the local ingredients so close at hand. His cookbook includes 100 of his fresh, imaginative recipes, from Green Garlic and Potato Gratin to Upside-Down Fresh Fig Cake. There are color photographs throughout, along with minibios of many of the farmers and other artisan producers. Denevan's is a unique organization, and his cookbook is highly recommended.
—Judith Sutton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307381996
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JIM DENEVAN, a chef and renowned land artist, is the founder of Outstanding in the Field, an organization that sets up outdoor dinners wherever food is grown. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

MARAH STETS is a food writer and editor. She lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three children.

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