Oah’u, Maui, Kauai and the island of Hawaii will each host one of these “table to farm” onsite artisanal feasts in January, 2012
In January, Outstanding in the Field, the California-based “restaurant without walls” that has inspired pop-up supper clubs across North America and around the world, makes its first-ever visit to Hawaii to celebrate the New Year with four dinner events at four farms on four islands with four top island chefs. The Hawaii dinners kick off Outstanding in the Field’s 13th season; founding chef Jim Denevan did his first farm dinner in his hometown of Santa Cruz, California in 1999. (In 2011, OitF staged 87 dinners across North America from Vancouver to Virginia and, for the first time, in Europe).
“Our dinner season traditionally starts in Spring, but when we decided to add Winter dates in 2012, we knew it was finally time to go to Hawaii,” said Denevan, who became a chef because it gave him time to surf during the day. Since 1999, Denevan and the Outstanding crew have created outdoor dining events at country farms and urban gardens, on mountain tops and sea caves, on islands and ranches. Wherever the location, the mission is the same: To re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food and introduce them to the local farmers and food artisans whose good work brings nourishment to the table. Ingredients for the meal are almost all local, often sourced within inches of the table, and prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the host site, everyone settles in: farmers, culinary artisans and diners serving each other at the long communal table.
Denevan is also an environmental artist, known for the large-scale drawings he creates on beaches, dry lakebeds and frozen surfaces. A temporary piece or two on Hawaiian sand, destined to disappear with the tide, is likely to appear during his visit.
Many Outstanding in the Field dates sell out within hours of being announced. The Hawaii events in January start at 3pm with a glass of wine and welcome hors d’ouevres, followed by a tour of the host farm and a family-style, four-course meal paired with wines. Ticket price of $190 per person includes the farm tour, multi-course meal with wine and all gratuities.
The full list of January 2012 Hawaii dinners includes:
January 14: Kilohana Plantation, Lihue, Kauai Guest chef: Aaron Leikam, 22 North, Lihue
Host farmer Byrna Storch and guest chef Aaron Leikam share both a latitude and a deep appreciation for fresh tropical ingredients. Combined with Aaron’s experience working with some of the best in the farm-to-table movement, including Rick Bayless, Jan Birnbaum and Melissa Kelly.
January 17: Kupa’a Coffee Farm, Kula, Maui Guest chef: Justin Pardo, Market Fresh Bistro, Makawao
Farmers Gerry Ross & Jane Simpson are our hosts for OitF’s first dinner on a coffee plantation. Kupa’a coffee is outstanding, named best coffee on Maui two years in a row. Guest chef Justin Pardo does popular twice-a-month farm dinners in his restaurant.
January 21: Ma’o Organic Farms, Wai’anae, Oahu Guest chef: Ed Kenney, Town and Downtown, Honolulu
Farmer Gary & Kukui Maunakea-Forth are dedicated to organic farming and to inspiring the next generation of young people to celebrate their connections to the land. Gary and guest chef Ed Kenney are great friends, and Ed’s son Duke does kids cooking demonstrations at Ma’o.
January 25: Kekala Farms, Waimea, Hawaii Guest chef: Edwin Goto, Village Burger, Kamuela
Farmer Paul Johnston is a leader in the Hawaii local farms movement and grows more than 100 different kinds of vegetables at Kekala. Guest chef Edwin Goto recently opened up his burger shack with all local meats and produce.
To learn more and reserve a seat at the Outstanding table, visit outstandinginthefield.com