The legacy of excellence in the field

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A lanky food artist was named 23 years ago Jim Deneven some points connected. Worked as a chef with fresh organic products Gabriella Cafe, he knew local growers. He had walked their fields, enjoying the magic of wandering through the tender new crops just before harvest. He knew that the closer to the source of the food, the greater the connection between farmer and taste. Why not take guests straight to the fields for their freshly harvested dinner?

It was an idea that came up everywhere, but with Outstanding in the field, Deneven went even further. From his brother’s apple orchards across the United States and now in 16 countries around the world, Deneven sets his tables with the wares of local winemakers, farmers, brewers, cooks and fishermen.

If you’ve never treated yourself to one of these amazing multi-course outdoor events — performances, celebrations, rituals — you might want to give yourself a gift that jumps in the face of inflation. A roving restaurant, with no boundaries or limitations of the imagination, Outstanding in the Field is a truly unforgettable extravaganza. Tickets are available now for the very last tables of Deneven’s 2022 OITF Tour, which requires you to hop on a plane and fly to Africa. On Friday 11th November the Hendy Farms Mango Orchard will host the moving feast in Ghana and on Saturday 19th November attendees will dine under the olive trees of the Noor Fes Estate in Fes Morocco. I know it means you have to act boldly, but your passport is up to date and what’s $365 among friends? Think about it. Just not too long! superbinthefield.com.

holiday toasts

As far as wine tasting goes, there is nothing more immediate and exciting than a cask tasting where you have the opportunity to go down into the cellar where the wine is eagerly aging and sample some of the up and coming releases. How smart of Windy Oaks to invite us to a pre-Christmas cask tasting from November 18th to 20th – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – at the beautiful Corralitos estate.

Father and son winemakers Jim and Spencer Schultz will host the tastings and you can also taste the newly released 2020 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir and the new 2018 Brut Rosé of Pinot Noir. Be wowed by the beautifully wrapped gift packs of some of Windy Oaks’ top sellers. Nobody would not like to receive a top quality wine from this outstanding producer. There will be live music and Oysters from Parker ($3) on Saturday and Sunday. $30 per person per day. windyoaksestate.com.

Homeless garden vacation

The annual festival of the enterprising Homeless garden project takes place on December 1st at the Resource Center for Nonviolence. This popular event offers HGP supporters the opportunity to sample celebratory small bites and drinks and view articles produced as part of the HGP training program. Managing Director Darrie Ganzhorn reminded us that this special evening brings the group’s craft supply straight to the guests. The opportunity to browse for special items will be wrapped around the showing Mission: JOY, a visual recording of conversations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. After the film, stay for the presentation Douglas AbramsCo-authored with the Dalai Lama and Tutu by the book of joy who inspired this behind-the-scenes documentary. The annual benefit provides food for thought, inspiration and a chance to see the handwork of the project’s trainees.

Homeless Garden Project holiday celebration is Thursday, Dec 1, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., at 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15/$10 at the Homeless Garden Project Downtown Store, 1338 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz.

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