Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dinners dinners dinners

We are now 10 dinners in. Season 2008 is on the road. We have welcomed more than 1000 guests to the farm table from Carpinteria, CA to Seattle, WA. Our bus "Outstanding" has been both reliable and cozy. Uphill has been a little slow, but downhill and the flats are great. Ben's clutch leg has had a real workout. In field, farm, bus, coffeeshop... and brewery, Leah completes any and all organizational tasks. European interns Anna Lena and Annette keep things clean and organized and even make lunch. Aubrey is working on her documentation skills, including her latest flip video which depicts a typical day in the life [see below]. Jim, as usual, is overly delicate, but occasionally lifts chairs, tables and giant chests full of plates.

We’ve hit the ground running the last couple of months and have not had enough time to refresh our blog, however look for more detailed descriptions and photos of the upcoming dinners. For the time being, here are some of the highlights (and challenges) of our first 10 dinners:

  • constructing a moat to protect the kitchen from high tide at the Secret Sea Cove dinner

  • Chef Traci Des Jardin’s summer berry tart
  • our 3 day dinner marathon: Northern, Central and Southern California back to back to back
  • moving from a Saturday uber-posh mountain top venue of Domaine Serene Winery in Oregon to a Sunday earthy Local Roots Farm dinner site in Washington; amazing creative dinners no matter the site
  • our all day drive from California with a nice break to dip in a slow moving Oregon river
  • Chef Nate Appleman’s spicy jarred pickles
  • Devil’s Gulch- our most difficult dinner ever as 50% of our staff call in sick at the last minute, our jeep keys are lost and wine-happy customers consume record amounts of Pinot Noir (we ran out)
  • Aubrey and Leah checking the “dinner” site at Shark’s Tooth Cove with farmer Billy Rodoni
  • Petrene Moreland of Sweet Briar Farms' passionate pig talk in an Oregon Vineyard
  • Chef Richard Mead’s melon ceviche shooter
  • Ben's amazing bus driving skills on difficult farm terrain
  • lamb twelve ways between Vincent Nattress and Traci Des Jardins on our McEvoy Ranch and Devil's Gulch Ranch weekend

  • OITF in the press; look for new articles in Delicious Magazine Australia and Sunset Magazine in the coming months
  • Ben regales guests of bus adventure/misadventures at Pasolivo Ranch
  • hiding the giant manure pile at Coleman Farm with our big bus
  • Romeo Coleman's son's charming contribution to the farm dinner welcome talk
  • harvesting rainbow chard during the dinner from Jeff Larkey's Route 1 fields for the chard-wrapped sardines
  • Seattle rest day and a late lunch with Matt Dillon, Wiley Bush and Dave Sanford at The Corson Building

  • our first minor bus breakdown/delay of the season and Ben's timely appearance, just in time for dessert, at Local Roots Farm
  • book signings on the bus- lots of fun!
  • Chef Deborah Scarborough’s unstoppable enthusiasm and down to the wire menu changes
  • a Hwy 1 forest fire slowing guest’s arrival to the Everett Family Farm dinner in Soquel, CA and 105 degree weather - at 6 pm
  • sunset over shopping carts in the Fred Meyer parking lot in Seattle


kate said...

That Aubrey is some videographer! Very impressive bus footage!!! Go Flip!

Alyson said...

Loved the Carpenteria event! Check out my photos at

Robert Brown said...

Hi.. where can I find Nate's spicy jarred pickles recipe They were awesome!! As was the entire dinner!