Imagine sitting at a very long table that seats about 200. You are surrounded by sky scrapers, tractors, fields of fresh vegetables as well old warehouses. The familiar sounds from a bustling city in the background yet you are on a farm. It is a hot summer evening in Chicago and there is excitement in the air. People are mingling and searching for their perfect spot at the table. We hear the tap on a microphone and the clink of a wine glass. The moment we have been waiting for is about start…..
Jim Denevan, CEO and Founder of Outstanding in the Field (OITF) begins with the story of City Farm. The Resource Center in Chicago buys vacant land in urban areas and converts them into working farms. They work with the local community to create organic farms, who in turn sell the produce to local restaurants. A large portion of the profits go back into the community to support food banks and pantries. The meal tonight has been prepared by local favorites , Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo of Fat Rice, Fat Rice Bakery, and The Ladies Room (craft cocktails) in Chicago. This will be their sixth consecutive year with OITF and City Farm.
There is a toast, “To good friends, good health, and great food.” The first of multiple courses is brought out. Each dish comes with a story; how is was made; the care and precision that went into; what feeling or emotion the Chef is trying to draw out of you. Its every foodie’s dream. Each course is paired with the perfect wine adding to the casual but elegant feel of the night. Conversations drift from work, to dream vacations,and then on to art and music.
The sun is starting to set behind the towering buildings and the air has cooled. The volume of the event rises as the drinks are poured. A table of 200 seems intimate as laughter reigns out from end to end. Does this night have to end? After the hugs and the promises to keep in touch are through, we head out to the sidewalks of Chicago in search of our next experience.
I found this little snippet from the actual event if you would like to take a peek..https://youtu.be/Xyc2v-JfLi4
Check out Outstanding in the Field 2021 Calendar of Events-https://outstandinginthefield.com