Jim Denevan brought his Outstanding In The Field dinners to New York this week, starting with last night’s event at Queens County Farm, with Food Republic co-founder Marcus Samuelsson tasked with going ultra-locavore as guest chef. One day after a hurricane swept through the region, the weather provided a perfect backdrop to an inspiring evening in an unlikely place.
I’ve never been to the Queens County Farm before, nor had I ever been to an Outstanding In The Field dinner (though we’ve featured OITF on Food Republic). The former is an actual working farm with some educational aspects built in, just a stone’s throw from the Grand Central Parkway. The latter is a traveling dinner series that has been serving out farm-t0-table (and other offshoots, like beach-t0-table) by bring the table right onto the farm. In this case, the table was set for 150 hungry guests amid corn fields, tomato plants and various livestock pens.
Samuelsson and his Red Rooster Harlem team served up a menu that utilized as much as possible from the farm and from participating purveyors, like Roger Repohl of Bronx Honey, whose honey infused the butter that was served with tomato jam and cornbread. The rest of the menu included Queens Farm heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with basil-mint vinaigrette; gravlax with pickled fennel, Queens Farm fennel flowers and grain mustard sauce; fried Yard Bird with white mace gravy, jerk bacon and beans, and corn succotash with Queens Farm squash, leeks and tomatoes; and blueberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream, with strawberries drizzled with Bronx Honey and Queens Farm mint.
OITF’s loyal followers now number some 40,000, so it’s getting tough to score a place at these thoughtfully placed tables. For those lucky enough tonite, Chef Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen will be serving up items from the rooftop at Brooklyn Grange. In the meantime, here’s some photo highlights from last night in Queens.