June 3, 2009
Outstanding in the Field
As a gift for my 50th birthday, my wife Kim took me to Northern California for a very unique experience called "Outstanding in the Field". We attended a wonderful dinner at Devil's Gulch Ranch in Nacasio, CA, which was prepared by chefs from the San Francisco restaurant, The Happy Quail. The vision of Jim Denevan, the founder of this concept, is to bring together the best of the region. Whether it's the food from local farms, the ideas of area food artisans and chefs, or the wine from regional winemakers, the idea is to celebrate the bounty of the neighboring land.
The event I attended at the magnificent setting of Devil's Gulch Ranch was placed in a field at a long linen draped table that seated 200 people. The ranch is owned by Mark and Myriam Pasternak, who happened to sit next to us during dinner. Their knowledge and passion for their ranch and the products they produce there added to the evening's enjoyment. It was truly a wonderful gift from my wife, and a great memory of how I celebrated this birthday.
Oh yes, and the menu. We dined on rabbit, lamb, pork, all from the ranch, as well as produce from local farms and wine from a nearby vineyard.
For those who don't want to travel out to the west coast, there are some "Outstanding in the Field" dinners planned locally and in Michigan.
On a smaller scale, Wildfire will be participating in cooking demos at the "Glenview Farmers' Market Chef's Table" on July 25th, August 8th, and September 19th. The demos will feature produce from the local farmers who take part in the farmers market. The market will be located at Historic Wagner Farm at 1510 Wagner Road in Glenview, IL.
From the wood burning oven,