Looking for one of the best meals in the world? Follow the Outstanding in the Field's trail, and they'll lead you to the best farmers, produce, scenery and 5-star chefs that will make your heart sing!
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Outstanding in the Field Maui, Hawaii
Jim Denevan organized his first open-air feast at Andy Griffin's Mariquita Farm near Santa Cruz in 2000. He set up one long table on the farm with the intention of showcasing the farmer and their land. Jim was starting to figure out how important it was to draw communities together, bridging any gaps with conversation about ingredients, community and the farm fresh meal that laid before each guest.
This genius idea was called Outstanding in the Field, and consisted of a traveling feast, keeping their focus on the farmers, chefs, cheese makers, ranchers, foragers and wine makers. They paired these masters with the community that supported them, and the energetic response was palpable!
15 years later, Outstanding in the Field has organized more than 600 events, making 12 coast-to-coast excursions through North America and toured all 50 of the United States and set up the farm-to-table experience in 10 countries. From ranches to vineyards, sea coves to sea caves, this fantastic organization makes learning about sustainable living and eating both gorgeous and fun!
Maui was fortunate enough to be the recipient of one of their recent culinary adventures, and it made sense that the 5-star setting took place on the stunning grounds of the Maui Tropical Plantation. Known for their breathtaking views of the Waikapu Valley, the sparkling lagoon and lush tropical foliage at every turn, the Maui Tropical Plantation was made for this Outstanding in the Field event. This spectacular setting, paired with the talent in the kitchen from the Mill House Restaurant, made for the perfect culinary event.
While guests toured the farm with Kumu Farms, the table was set up, adorned with chic mismatched plates and a mouth-watering menu. And what a menu it was! The starters included:
*Crispy Ulu chips, fennel chips, citrus and a macadamia gremolata
*Cured Akule Boquerones, Ali'i Mushroom Duxelles, served on a cracker
*Roasted Poblano Sausage, topped with a pickled mustard corn
The following courses were served family style, lending to the camaraderie and spirit of the evening. The first course was a freshly caught and cured local fish, served with a cucumber broth, dill and pumpernickel crisps.
The salad course utilized the vibrant vegetables from the Maui Tropical Plantation Farm, called Kumu Farms. The roasted vegetables and blistered tomatoes popped in flavor with the rich tonnato sauce. Topped with farm fresh eggs, everyone wiped their plates clean and eagerly awaited the next course.
The main entrée was steaming plates of perfectly prepared pork confit, roasted squash and the delightful addition of the rarely used curds and whey.
The dinner ended with a sweet treat, using local bananas and rosemary to delight each guest with a luscious cake-like banana bread.
The conversation that evening ranged from the importance of Maui's sustainable movement to the epic views and phenomenal meal. Like-minded people connected at the family-style table, each discussing the importance of furthering the support of local farmers.
While Outstanding in the Field will be moving on to the next worthy location, the Mill House Restaurant has just opened their breathtaking open-air restaurant, with the same view and the same artistic chef that was present for this feast. The culinary masterpieces that were celebrated can be yours when you dine at the Mill House Restaurant, complete with a daily changing menu.
To make a reservation at the Mill House Restaurant, you can book it online or call (808) 270-0333.
All photography was either taken by Mill House staff, from owners that have given us written permission, and/or purchased for use. We have all the rights necessary to use these images on our website.