The concept of an Outstanding in the Field dinner is simple: long communal tables, populated with food lovers who are being served a gourmet meal from the source, the ingredients often grown literally steps away. Your dinner is outstanding, and in a literal field, as well as the metaphorical one; you are also Out Standing In The Field. Get it? Very cute, very accurate.

The idea of these dinners, started by self taught chef and artist Jim Deneven about 10 years ago, is to bring together local farmers, food artisans, wine makers and chefs and serve a dinner that not only entertains but opens diners' eyes to the beauty and necessity of eating and buying locally.

The events are held all across North America, and for the first time Outstanding in the Field dinners are heading even farther afield, to Europe. If you haven't had a chance to attend a dinner now's your chance: the list of venues for the 2010 season comes out today, and reservations will be open on March 20th. Some of the California venues? Wattles Farm right here in Los Angeles as well as Crows Pass Farm in Temecula and Pie Ranch in Northern California. To sign up for a dinner, go to their website.

LA Weekly