Image for Alternative supper club brings diners to the source of their meal

Alternative supper club brings diners to the source of their meal

This year marks the 20th anniversary of US chef Jim Denevan’s pioneering project

This year marks the 20th anniversary of US chef Jim Denevan’s pioneering project

Bored of formulaic dinner parties and uninspiring restaurant meals, in 1999 US artist and chef Jim Denevan devised a tasty alternative. He invited diners to a communal meal at the source of the ingredients on the menu, describing it as a celebration of “people, place and the origins of good food”.

Twenty years later, Denevan’s project, Outstanding in the Field, has staged more than 1,000 events around the world, sharing and celebrating stories of the food’s producers at each one. His travelling troupe of waiters and chefs have laid out their trademark horizon-busting tables at organic vegetable farms and fruit orchards, grass-fed ranches and creameries, olive groves and date gardens, sandy beaches and trellised vineyards.

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The event in the photo above took place at the Devil’s Gulch Ranch, an organic family farm that raises rabbits, pigs and sheep and grows premium wine grapes in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

Feasts have taken place in 50 US states and in 15 countries, often with top chefs at the helm of the (field) kitchens.

An event at Red Acre Farm, Utah, a family-run farm that grows more than 177 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Image: Neringa Greiciute

In 2019, Outstanding in the Field will hold three events in Europe, including two dinners in France and a first-time visit to Sweden for a meal at a castle in the Österlen region.

Featured image: Ilana Freddye

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