My niece Vanessa runs the local canyon on a regular basis. It was from her that I first learned about Wattles’ Farm. Having received the outside looking in tour of the gardens, I always said I need to come back when the garden is open. So imagine my surprise, when following my curiosity about a photograph of a 200 or so people dinner table set near an ocean cliff with the waves pounding in the background, to discover that I could attend such a dinner. Right here in Los Angeles, at Wattles’ Farm. Outstanding in the Field, is a restaurant set in an outdoor locale for a couple of hundred people. Though pricey – this dinner costs $250.00 per person – the dinners are set in open spaces with celebrity chefs.
Wattle’s Farm and Community Garden was once part of a forty-nine acre grand estate owned by Gurdon Wattles, a businessman and banker from Omaha, Nebraska, who used the property as his winter home. North of the farm is the Wattles Mansion which was designated in 1993 as a City of Los Angeles Cultural Monument No. 579.
For our dinner the chef was James Beard-nominated Rising Star Chef of the Year Ari Taymor currently based at his co-own, with , restaurant in DTLA, called “Alma”. At the entrance gate we were greeted by “Reggie” who I later found out was 101 years young. Reggie gave us a little history of the farm including showing us photographs of how the farm looked back in the 1930’s. The first couple of hours were spent exploring the farm and gardens. We happened upon Toby who was picking bitter lettuce to be used for our meal that night. Toby, turned out to be the guest farmer for the evening, in addition to being the president of the Wattles’ Community Farm.
I have been known to be picky and don’t like things like mushrooms or salmon. But I told myself that I would just eat whatever it was presented. The first of the hors d’oeuvres to pass my way was duck liver and jam on toast. Gulp: it surprised me by being fantastic. The actual meal was presented in four courses: a salad with sheep milk cheese, apples and walnuts; smoke salmon (I thought I saw Boy Wonder Chef – Flynn McGarry – prepping the Salmon for smoking); a “to die for” grilled brisket; and for the finale – apples, oats, maple topped by crème fraiche. I’m not a foodie, but I came to realize that the name of the event was a metaphor for the experience – Outstanding food served in an outdoor setting in a field or in this case a farm.
OITF returns to Wattles Farm on November 3, 2015
- When: Tuesday, Nov 3, 2015 2:00 PM
- Ticket Price: $235.00
- Where: Wattles Farm 1714 North Curson Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046
@aritaymor; @almarestaurant; @out_inthefield #wattlesfarm #OITF #communitygardens