As the sun hung low and illuminated the fields, I was reminded how epic summers in the Pacific Northwest are. Sure, other places have consistently nicer weather, but one thing we Pacific Northwesterners know how to do best is appreciate every ray of sunshine and hour of light we are blessed with in those short magical few months. 

This summer, the “roving restaurant without walls” Outstanding in the Field will be visiting the Pacific Northwest from the end of June to the beginning of July with stops at Lopez Island (June 25), Orcas Island (June 29), Carnation (July 2-3), and Quilcene (July 9-10), Washington to name a few. Enjoy meals prepared by Ursa Minor’s Nick Coffey, Hogstone’s Jay Blackinton, and Local Tide’s Victor Steinbrueck highlighting food from our local water and farmlands. 

Instead of painstakingly sourcing ingredients for a particular menu, Outstanding in the Field goes the extra mile and brings the kitchen right to the source. As they set their infamously long tables along shorelines, hilltops, orchards, fields; their aim is to reconnect people to the land and celebrate the hardworking hands that feed us. Each meal is a feast for the senses; bursting with color, texture, flavor and representing a strong sense of place. 

Outstanding in the Field isn’t just about food, but bringing people together from all walks of life. Each guest is interesting and inspiring in their own right, from the couple who quit their jobs, sold their house, and were headed on a cross-country adventure, to the labor and delivery nurse who witnessed the joys and heartaches of life on a daily basis. Aside from the food and stunning views, it is the strangers whose lives briefly intertwine with ours who make the evening memorable. 

I have attended many Outstanding in the Field dinners and have relished the opportunity to have an evening to meet the makers, break bread with the farmers, and soak in the three best things in life: good company, delicious food, and gorgeous scenery. I have eaten by the water, tucked against a mountainside, on an island, and at a farm. The sentiment is always the same: how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful setting. 

Outstanding in the Field has an ongoing tradition of encouraging guests to bring their own plate to the meal for a cornucopia of color and textures. No need to fear if you forget your plate because they always have a large stack to choose from 

Even though Jim Denevan has been running Outstanding in the Field since 1999, you will still find him attending dinners periodically. With a glass of wine in hand, he spends the majority of the evening weaving his way down the long table. Denevan is eager to connect and spend as much time as possible talking to his 150+ guests turned friends. Now that is a sign of a gracious host! 

The hardworking folks from Outstanding in the Field crisscross the globe for six-plus months putting on epic dining experiences. At the end of the night, your stomach will be full and your heart happy to have spent time at a glorious spot with people who breathe passion into everything they create.