Outstanding in the Field was OUTSTANDING!

February 2, 2018

On Saturday, January 20, the Outstanding in the Field team, led by its visionary creator Jim Denevan and his team, paired with the amazing team of chefs and staff from the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista, collaborated to host a culinary experience unlike Anna Maria has ever seen.

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls.

Since 1999 the Outstanding in the Field (OITF) team has set the long table at rural farms and urban gardens, on mountain tops and in sea caves, on islands and ranches. This time they chose the beautiful setting of Anna Maria Island and specifically the beach next to the Sandbar. How did they find us you ask? It started with food of course. The OITF team held a dinner a couple of years ago at Worden Farms in Punta Gorda with owners Chris and Eva Worden. OITF General Manager Edan Reilly asked Eva Worden if Anna Maria was a good vacation spot and for suggestions on restaurants. Eva immediately thought of Ed Chiles. The OITF came to visit, met with Ed, ate at the Sandbar and two years later, 210 people are having a delicious meal on the beach by the Sandbar and we are catering it.

It was a perfect match between OITF and our restaurants and between Jim and Ed. Jim and his team are all about re-connecting diners to the land and the origins of their food, and honoring the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. And Ed Chiles, owner of the restaurants, is doing just that by providing locally sourced seafood and produce from his Gamble Creek Farm to the diners at his restaurants. The missions of these two men meshed together in perfect harmony.

Devevan, who is also an accomplished artist creating amazing one dimensional sand sculptures, states, “The theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.” Chiles adds, “Our team is always ready to to take on new challenges. Serving the best of our local farm to table and local underutilized seafood on the beach for a single table of 210 guestsl was a real high wire act. I’m so proud of the job they did. It was a new high water mark in our effort to promote local sustainable food. We really appreciate Jim Denevan and his crew from OITF for selecting us for this event.”

If you are bummed you missed the Outstanding in the Field event you can check them out online and “Follow the Bus” to their next culinary adventure in a field, barn, island or mountain top somewhere awesome and inspiring. If you would like to have a culinary experience on a regular basis, just visit the Sandbar, Beach House or Mar Vista Restaurants and enjoy farm to fork and gulf to table fare with your toes in the sand.

For more on OITF visit http://www.outstandinginthefield.com/

Here are some pictures from Outstanding in the Field – Anna Maria Island.



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