“I’m not sure why it’s not sold out (yet),” Lisa Supple writes. “Maybe it’s because it’s a Thursday and folks are waiting until the last minute to see if their work schedules allow them to come?”
Outstanding in the Field (OITF) was founded in 1999 by California chef Jim Denevan, who aimed to deepen eaters’ connections with the land and its cultivators by hosting a series of farm dinners. The group held its first event beyond California in 2003, and now annually stages as many as 90 meals on farms from Maine to Oregon. OITF last visited Thornhill Farm in 2010, when Sean Brock’s dinner was nearly disrupted by a tornado. (The chance of rain on Thursday is 10 percent.)
Despite charging triple-digit prices, OITF has a knack for selling out its events: Of the 21 events scheduled through the end of November, only nine still have available seats.
Although Johnson’s 2 p.m. meal is among them, OITF is currently expecting 100-120 attendees. A production team from The Chew will also be on site to shoot an upcoming segment.
Beverages for the afternoon include Johnson’s Dirty Green Tomato cocktail; a South African Chenin Blanc; an Italian Pallagrello Nero and, possibly, Foggy Ridge cider. “OITF doesn’t generally do dessert pairings but we may for this event,” Supple writes. “Chef has suggested ‘the perfect light cocktail to finish that incorporates some great people from Virginia.’”
As for the food, the menu – printed below in its entirety — includes chicken heart lettuce wraps, pork belly pastrami, hoppin’ john and sorghum swirl ice cream.
Dinner costs $200. Check your work schedule (or just plan to play hooky: It’s a miscarriage of culinary justice if there are empty seats at this long table), and buy your tickets here.
What we are
• Fried Oysters, Deviled Egg Sauce, Bread and Butter Pickles
• Grilled Flatbread ~ Butter Bean Hummus, Charred Eggplant• Grilled Chicken Heart Lettuce Wraps
• Pastrami’d Pork Belly and Rye
• Pickles, Piggies and Preserves
• Rebellion Radishes with Anchovy Butter
How I started
Warm Salad of Kale and Collards, Early October Lowcountry Harvest, Bagna Cauda Vinaigrette, Ricotta Salata
How it began
Braised Fish, Hoppin’ John of Charleston Gold Rice and Crowder Peas, Pickled Shrimp Vinaigrette
Where we are going
Mixed Grill of Border Springs Lamb ~ Saddle, Ribs, Merguez Sausage
Okra, Spiced Tomato Gravy, Cotija Cheese
Butter Bean and Broccoli Raab Gratin
Lessons from Paw Paw
Apple Tarte Tatin, Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar, Salted Peanut and Sorghum Swirl Ice Cream