Outstanding In The Field Feast – Foodbuzz Fest Dinner

The big event of the blogger fest (well, at least for me) was the dinner on saturday night. It was run by Outstanding in the Field. In their own words, “Outstanding in the Field is a mobile restaurant without walls. Our seasonal farm dinner events are organized as a celebration of place and honor the farmer and other producers of a region.” Their dinners are typically held outdoors on farms, but being in SF, our event was held at a very unique location, the Greenleaf Produce Warehouse.

The table setups for their events are art installations in themselves. To accommodate all these crazy food bloggers, dozens of tables were lined up throughout the warehouse space. They used some of the warehouse’s typical inhabitants as decoration.

Chef Dennis Lee of Namu designed the multi-course menu with wine pairings from Randall Grahm of Boony Doon. He was actually in the hospital this evening, so it was his team that created this fabulous dinner in a make-shift kitchen.

While we mingled, we were treated to appetizers of ahi tonnato on pain de mie with kochukaru (korean hot pepper flakes) and parsley. Despite the korean ingredients, this was decidedly not korean tasting… but still great!
They had shrimp chips laid out in baskets at every table. Seeing as how the chef was korean, this made some sense to me. But it amused me a bit, as this isn’t exactly highbrow stuff. I could eat bags of these in one sitting, and well, I often do!
While still on the starter front, we got to munch on various pickled treats… broccoli, greens, kimchi, and yellow beans, amongst others. The kimchi was the only korean tasting part about these veggies. Everything was extremely… well… pickled! I love pickled anything, so I was a big fan of these veggies.
Next up was the only dish where we got our own servings. Everything else was family style. This is a mushroom dashi soup with a variety of fresh mushrooms. Now you know how I dislike mushrooms most of the time, but I tell you what, I ate all these up. This was simply delightful.
Onto the next dish! Udon noodles topped with calamari, cucumber, yellow tomato, and fancy greens in a browned butter ponzu reduction. I really thought this would taste korean-ish. And once again, nope! But this was another winning dish. I love cold noodle salads.
Next up was our only fish dish. Looks like salmon, but it was sea trout baked with dashi kombu, fried garlic, and japanese curry powder. All the flavors were quite mild. This was a deliciously simply prepared fish.
Up next was the mushroom risotto. This menu was heavy on the mushrooms! Made with fancy koshihikari rice, this was topped with crispy maitake mushrooms. Again, I enjoyed these mushrooms! As well as the creamy risotto. Let’s be honest, I like pretty much anything made with rice!
You won’t believe what I ate next! Brussel sprouts! These little beauties were roasted with ponzu fried garlic, guanciale, and bonito flakes. These muscles from brussels had soaked up the flavors and were beyond delicious. Shockingly enough, I’d say these were some of my favorite bites of the entire evening.
The final big dish was soy braised beef cheeks and oxtails with baby carrots and fingerling potatoes. As it was infused with OB Beer (korean) and doenjang (fermented soybean paste, korean style), I also expected this dish to taste a bit on the korean side. And again, not at all! But it was delicious nonetheless and super tender.
Dessert was a koshihikari rice pudding with cookie crumbles topped with Warren pear. It wasn’t the most exciting rice pudding, but the cookie crumbles and the pear were amazing. In fact, the man who raised these pears was at the dinner. It doesn’t get much cooler than that!

Kudos to Foodbuzz for letting us experience a dinner this amazing and special. It truly was a meal to remember for the rest of my life. And now that I know what the heck Outstanding In The Field is, I’ll be sure to catch one of their regular farm dinners! You should too!

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