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Outstanding In The Field Slowly Revealing Midwest Dates

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 9, 2012 10:30PM

A scene from an Outstanding in the Field Dinner at Kinnikinnick Farm in Caledonia, IL in 2009 (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

The roving farm dinner series Outstanding in the Field is set to announce its full 2012 season March 20. As a tease, the organization has been slowly revealing some of the participating farms and chefs on their Twitter and Facebook feeds.

12 dinners have already been announced, including OITF's requisite visit to City Farm in mid-August. Seedling Farms' Peter Klein let the cat out of the bag OITF will be at his orchards Aug. 19, while Dietzler Beef in Elkhorn, WI will host two dinners on what appears to be Aug. 12 and 13. Dietzler's Michelle Dietzler confirmed that Longman and Eagle's Jared Wentworth will be participating.

We've attended OITF dinners in the past and they aren't cheap. At anywhere between $150-$250 per head, the cost makes you think twice before committing. Factor in that you have to arrange your own transportation to and from the host farms, and suddenly you're spending the equivalent of dinner for four at a mid-priced Chicago restaurant.

Another thing to consider: farm dinners are commonplace these days, with local organizations pulling them off cheaper and with less overhead than the for-profit Outstanding in the Field. City Provisions is the most obvious local example. Cleetus Friedman and company even bus their guests to and from the farms in a biodiesel bus at costs cheaper than what OITF charges.

Still, OITF has sucked us in with the guessing game of who's participating.