Outstanding in the Field

I’m so excited to share this with you, I can barely contain myself! I had the privilege of attending one of the most incredible dinners I’ve ever been to…you might even say it was OUTSTANDING! :)


I was invited by two of my favorite people (my “second parents!”), Mark and Janet, to “Outstanding in the Field.” In the founders’ words, “Our 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.” And they truly did just that. It was a farm-to-table culinary adventure – celebrating the farmer, touring the land, eating the freshest ingredients prepared by a local chef…my dream meal in a nutshell.



They have a tradition that everyone brings their own plate to create a patchwork table. Meg and I were all over it.


We were served delicious appetizers and Linden wine while everyone arrived. This first one was my favorite- Whipped Parsnip Hummus on Toast…it was so smooth and dreamy but with an agressive buttery crunch from the toast.


We also had these light, cheesy Eggplant Gougeres:


With a glass of the Linden Sauvignon Blanc, we listened to the founder and the farmer speak and then were off on a tour of the farm!



ADORABLE piggies!


Meg sneaking up to take a picture of the cows! (and the founder and farmer in the foreground, there):


And then we began our outstanding five-course meal.


I’m SO sorry I forgot to take a picture of the charcuterie EXTRAVAGANZA before everyone dug in! But the charred chicken curry with roasted chickpeas, garlic, and shiitakes was absolutely one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever had. All of the flavors were so beautifully composed – it was incredible.

And I’m not usually making chardonnay my first choice wine, but this 2009 Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay was fantastic. I’m going to say it’s the best chardonnay I’ve ever had. It was crisp, with a bright violet candy on the palate and a buttery caramel finish. (My brother usually handles the ridiculous wine descriptions, but this one just came to me like a gift from God.) It was LOVE.


Then we had stewed beef shoulder with greens and potted stilton with a pomme darfin (I even tried the stilton and didn’t hate it!)


And to finish, my other favorite dish – Greek doughnuts with whipped Appalachian cheese, honey, and hazelnuts :)


Enough food pictures, though! Here are some of my favorite shots :)





**French phrase for fun

Merci, mes amis, c’était un rêve.
Thank you, friends, it was a dream.

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