Outstanding in the Field: Queens Farm, Part I

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in Outstanding in the Field, where notable chefs prepare a meal for guests on a long communal table set in a natural setting. There has been over 80 dinners put together this year by Outstanding in the Field and our event yesterday took place on Queens Farm in Little Neck, NY. This beautiful urban farm located in the middle of Queens was the perfect setting for such an amazing event. Queens farm was established in the 1600's and has been the longest continuously-farmed in the nation. The long Outstanding in the Field table was set among the 47 acres of the farm, in between the wine grapes and the animals.

It was so amazing to me to cook right on a farm and I was honored to have been a part of this event. When I first heard about Outstanding in the Field, I looked at the locations that they had done their dinners at and other chefs who had participated, and I jumped at the opportunity  since the relationships that this company is making between farmers and chefs is exactly the type of initiative we should all be involved in. When much of the country is worried about the local and farm-to-table movement, Outstanding in the Field changes the focus and instead creates a table-to-farm view.

I can't stress how great it was to cook outdoors and in a rural setting. I brought my staff with me from Red Rooster and prepared a fabulous menu for guests that included some of our Rooster favorites, like the Yard Bird, Corn Bread, Gravlax, and Jerk Bacon with Beans. These Red Rooster comfort foods fit in perfect with the theme and we were lucky enough to use some of the vegetables and produce straight from the farm. Overall, it was a great event that really helps bring the focus to the source of our foods and those in the industry that help us attain those foods. If you've never taken a trip to a public farm, I encourage everyone to do so. It will give you amazing insight to natural foods and all the hard work done by farmers to help feed us.

Check out our photos below and check back tomorrow for more information about Outstanding in the Field, including interviews from guests and staff in our Part II of this great event.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya