Communal dining at Outstanding In The Field

Art and Culture Mondays by Bronte Hogarth

Communal dining has become a trend in the restaurant scene over the past few years with many establishments featuring shared tables where people dine sitting amongst other strangers.

090310_PA_DSC_0860_cc_ej_hSharing a dining space can be confronting for some, and although it doesn’t always mean you will be sharing the food, many restaurant and food ventures have taken it to that next level, thriving on the shared dining experience where both the dining space and food is shared amongst whoever is at the table.

Outstanding In The Field is one such food experience where ‘sharing is caring’.

Imagine a massive dining table for over one hundred people set up in the middle of a beautiful farm paddock. Diners sit down in the open air for a delicious meal cooked by a chef using only the produce grown at the farm location. The distance between paddock and plate becomes one, and the idea of sharing runs through the whole event – sharing food, sharing company, and most importantly sharing knowledge about where the food came from, what it takes to grow and who are the people behind the produce.


Founded in 1998 by chef and artist Jim Denevan, Outstanding In The Field started as a series of “farmer dinners”, where farmers where invited into restaurants to address customers about themselves and their produce. The idea then evolved to take hungry diners out into the farm, and so this unique dining event was born.

Outstanding in the Field’s mission statement is…

To re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.

Having an appreciation about where your produce comes from is incredibly important when it comes to sustainable food practices. Choosing to buy locally grown produce when possible is a big action area for reducing your carbon footprint and impact on our great mother earth.

These kinds of farm dinners are happening around the world, and it’s great to see people are excited to get to know farmers, along with having a surely unforgettable meal. I know I would like to be sitting at the table.


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One response to “Communal dining at Outstanding In The Field

  1. Great article Bronte….I remember many years ago there was an Italian restaurant just like this in Brisbane called
    Mama Luigi,s . The American soldiers who were stationed in Brisbane and of course Australian families and friends frequented this place regularly .There were long tables and people sat with other people and really enjoyed the experience.of making new friends as everyone tlked to talk with each other. .

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