Outstanding in the Field

Two weeks ago, McEvoy Ranch hosted 160 guests for Outstanding in the Field's 2nd farm-to-table dinner of the 2008 season. Since 1999, the OIF crew has toured the country in their big red bus "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." Since then, they've gained a cult-like following of foodies, wine-makers, farmers and artisans who come together with common goal... to celebrate at the source. At McEvoy ranch, the olive trees are the source, and that is precisely where the dinner table was set. A very long table was built in between two rows of olive trees, along with a satellite kitchen at the end of the orchard for guest chef Vincent Nattress of Meadowood, Napa. We began with a crostini of McEvoy olives and melted leeks "tapenade," followed by barbequed Miagi oysters with grilled County Line broccoli di cicco. Next, came a beautiful green salad with Persian cress, wild arugula and heirloom radishes, dressed with our olive oil and banyuls vinaigrette. For our main course, we feasted on a trio of Marin Sun Farms lamb, including a cassoulet with delicious Rancho Gordo "yellow eye" beans. Our friends at Cowgirl Creamery provided wheels of Red Hawk to pair with bright orange Hamada Farms apricots, for the cheese course, and somehow we all managed to squeeze in at least one bite of the yummy dessert--strawberry shortcake with rum scented chantilly. And, the evening was outstanding, to say the least.