Hearty Roots Farm Hosts Huge Outdoor Feast on Labor Day

Farmers and food lovers alike break bread during a traveling open-air dinner party that celebrates local agriculture

This Labor Day, shut off the grill and kick up your heels — dinner is officially served.

On September 1, a traveling farm dinner series called Outstanding in the Field comes to Germantown, where guests can take tours of a farm and learn about local ingredients before sitting down to a massive outdoor feast.

Founded in 1999 by Santa Cruz, California native, chef, and earthworks artist Jim Denevan, Outstanding in the Field seeks to reconnect diners to the land and the origins of their food, as well as honor farmers. To date, Denevan has organized more than 600 events throughout nine countries; this year, the series aims to reach all 50 states as part of its “50 States Tour.”

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For the Hudson Valley edition, the night unfolds with appetizers to welcome guests to Hearty Roots Farm. Owners Benjamin and Lindsey Shute lead guests on an exclusive walking tour of the property, including Hearty Roots’s magnificent vegetable fields, which provide the produce for their well-known CSA program.

After a quick meet-and-greet with the farm’s plucky laying hens, diners are seated at Outstanding in the Field’s signature communal table, where guests chefs Jeremy Stanton and Jim Gop — they’re the proprietors and master butchers behind Fire Roasted Catering and the Meat Market in Great Barrington, Massachusetts — prepare a multi-course feast. As event organizers like to say, it’s kind of like a “nomadic restaurant without walls.” 

Walls or not, we’ve never seen a restaurant cook with black cauldrons and open-fire equipment, however. Check out the video below for a demonstration of how they pull it off:

Fire Roasted Catering video by Joseph Heck

“It’s been quite a ride,” says Denevan. “But every time I meet a new farmer, see the fabulous work they do, and taste the incredible meals great chefs make with that bounty, I’m inspired to keep going.”

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And we certainly hope they do. Bon appétit, Hudson Valley.

If you go…

What: Outstanding in the Field
When: Monday, September 1, 3 p.m.
Where: Hearty Roots Communiy Farm, 1830 Rte. 9., Germantown
Cost: $235
Details: www.outstandinginthefield.com/event/hearty-roots-community-farm

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