My friend Ali told me about Outstanding in the Field dinners where they bring together local farmers, chefs, and winemakers to serve the most incredible meals at the source. The thought of attending one of those dinners made my heart go pitter patter. When I first looked into it there were no plans for a dinner in the state of Washington so I didn't follow it as closely as I should have. My bad because I recently learned that they hosted a few dinners in Washington this summer. I could cry! I cannot even imagine what a fun and unique experience the dinner would be, not to mention the food was probably fantastic. And look at those incredible tables. (Photos not from Washington dinners but show a sample of what they're like.)
The more you start talking to people about these types of events, the more you learn that there are so many wonderful culinary experiences at your back door. My friend Jen told me about "An Incredible Feast" - the farmers market dinner in Seattle where they brought together local farmers and chefs to create amazing local and sustainable food. I could have eaten myself into a coma, it was all so good. At the event I spoke to a lot of the farmers and learned that many of them offer dinners on their farms for large groups. Now that fall is here, I imagine these will happen less often but it's a good thing to have in the back of your mind for next spring and summer. I know I will definitely be tracking some down next year.