July 27, I had the chance to head to this thing called Outstanding in the Field, which is a farm-to-table meal held in Waukee, Iowa, to cover the event for The Reader. You can check out the full story here, I just had some extra images that I wanted to share.
It is sort of funny to think about people paying to go eat dinner in the middle of July at a farm. People traveled from all over just to attend this meal. There were folks at my table from nearby Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa City, and Orange City, Iowa. Then there was me, from Omaha (and a few others who wisely got a hotel and stayed the night), some ladies from South Dakota and people from Minnesota. I drove two hours to eat dinner on a farm, y'all. That's something I'm sure Nebraska farmers would balk at, but there it is and it was really a beautiful event.
The food (four courses plus hors d'oeuvres) all came from local farms and was cooked by a local chef Andrew Meek of Sbrocco. Wine was provided by Calcereous Vineyard in Paso Robles, Calif. Below is the first courses: a salad of tomatoes and melons served with basil and a citrus-honey vinagrette.
Second course was Mediterranean vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant) with roast lamb and bagna cauda. I don't know exactly what it was, maybe the skin, but there was this cripsy, bacon-like meat that I was just making love to on the table. This courses was by far my favorite. The lamb was so tender. I loved the addition of the fennel just slathered in salty olive oil.
Meals were served family style, which was nice because I went alone and made friends with my table, particularly Madison and her mom Marilyn. In this photo, there's a good shot of the rainbow Swiss chard growing in the background.
Marilyn took this photo and emailed it to me that night (very nice!). I like it even though my attention is immediatly drawn to my teeth--holy crap, you can see all my gums. But I'm obviously having such a great time, who cares what I look like.