Outstanding in the Field Returns to the Berkshires
On the weekend following Labor Day, the Outstanding in the Field bus will be arriving in the Berkshires for two events featuring delicious off-the-farm dinners designed and prepared by notable chefs at a set of stunning Berkshire locations.
To kick off their visit, the Outstanding in the Field (OITF) team will set up their epic celebrated table on the hills of Lila’s Farm in Great Barrington on Saturday, September 7. Dan Smith, chef-owner of John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant in Egremont, will prepare a four-course meal in the great outdoors on a wood-fired grill using farm-fresh ingredients. This event is sold out but tickets are still available for the farm dinner on the following night.
On Sunday, September 8, the OITF bus will travel north to Hancock Shaker Village (HSV) in Pittsfield where Chef Brian Alberg from The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge will man the field kitchen with his crew and present a four-course meal to 150 guests. Approximately 50 tickets are still available for this event.
The OITF team had such a notable experience working with Chef Alberg last year, they wanted a repeat performance. Chef Alberg, hailing from the iconic Red Lion Inn and cooking in the historic landscape of Hancock Shaker Village, the living history museum that brings the Shaker story to life and preserves it for future generations, is an extraordinary pairing and one not to be missed.
“I am really excited to be involved with Outstanding in the Field again this year and thrilled that OITF founder Jim Denevan added a second Shire dinner to the calendar featuring Chef Dan Smith and Lila Berle, two principal members of our farm-to-table community,” said Chef Alberg. “I think of Hancock Shaker Village as one of the most iconic landscapes in which to enjoy this type of dining. The Shakers were communal, innovative and cared about the land and how it was used, as well as being the first to package seeds for sale to farmers. It is with this same Shaker compassion and vigor that we will jointly create a unique memory for all our guests who attend.”
Chef Daire Rooney of Allium in Great Barrington helped prepare the OITF dinner at Indian Line Farm in 2012 and will be collaborating with both chefs this year. She has worked in partnership with Chef Alberg and Chef Smith for many years and will be a guest chef at the two OITF dinners in September.
OITF is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999, OITF has traveled around the country setting their long table in fields, gardens and vineyards, and on beaches and mountaintops. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table. Ingredients for each meal are almost all local, sometimes sourced within inches of the guests’ seats at the table, and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, guests settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans and diners sharing the long table.
The menu for Sunday, September 8 includes a selection of stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres including Berkshire Valley Beef Summer Sausage with Half Sour Pickles and Grain Mustard, Joshua’s Farm Deviled Eggs and Howden Farm Sweet Corn Pancake with Rawson Brook Farm Monterey Chevre. Beer and cocktails will be provided by Big Elm Brewing Company and Berkshire Mountain Distillers.
Dinner, served family style, will include an amuse bouche and first course of Chilled Smoked Farm Girl Farm Tomato Soup with Olive Oil-Poached Turnips, Taft Farms Sweet Corn and Berry Patch Tomato Salad with Equinox Farm Arugula and BBQ Berkshire Pork Belly served with Sparkling Rose Punch with fresh herbs and fruit. The second course will include Wanabea Farm Rabbit Choucroute, Parsnips, Carrots and Smoked Caraway served with Sangria of Finger Lakes Riesling with Fresh Peaches and Basil. The main course will feature wood-grilled Bela Farms Duck Breast with Foggy River Farms Kale Hash and Buttered Indian Line Farm Celery Root served with “Mulled” Lambrusco, Cherries and Blackberries. Dessert will highlight Dave’s Melons with Berle Farm Crowdie and Berkshire Wildflower Honey.
Event Details & Ticket Information
Both dinners will begin at 3 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres at the initial greeting area followed by opening remarks and a farm tour around 4 p.m. Seating for the four-course, family-style dinners (including dessert) will begin at 4:45 p.m. The price for the dinners is $220 per person. The Saturday night dinner is sold out but tickets for the Sunday, September 8 event are still available. For more information about the event, visit the OITF site at www.outstandinginthefield.com.
Backstage in the Berkshires
Berkshire Farm & Table. an organization whose mission is to cultivate regional economic development through the advancement of food culture in the region, will provide behind-the-scenes coverage, offering a backstage pass to these celebrated events. Social media coverage will include Facebook and Twitter updates. Follow hashtag #OITFBerkshires for posts.
For more information about the dinners – the chefs, their restaurants, the host farms and OITF, visit www.berkshirefarmandtable.com/outstanding-in-the-field-2013/.