In June I had the great pleasure of attending an Outstanding in the Field dinner.
This was a Christmas present that we had to wait to enjoy. I have been wanting to go to one of these dinners for about two years.
We drove to Lompoc, Ampelos Cellars, on a rainy Saturday in June. This was super special, because it never rains in June in Santa Barbara County – Never! But! There was a rainbow. We ended up eating under a tent, at a long serpentine table. It was magical.
The Outstanding in the Field mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. So, we got to tour the vineyard and then dine among the vines.
All the food is sourced from the immediate area, and then prepared right there on site. We ended up sitting with the family that provided many of the vegetables.
Each diner brings their own plates. I brought my grandmother’s “apple” pattern for us to use. The people right next to us were using plates in the sister pattern “desert rose.” I love eating this way, with thought put into everything on the plate, the order of service, even the plate on the table.
The food and the company (and the wine!) were indeed outstanding.