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Outstanding in The Field: Brenham, Texas 2011

April 15th, 2013 by Pamela Murski

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My husband and I  had the opportunity to attend Outstanding in the Field in Brenham, TX .  People travel from all over to have this  one  of a kind experience.  Lucky for us our home and B&B is just 15 minutes away from this particular venue!  Outstanding in the Field’s mission is to reconnect diners to the land and origins of their food and to honor local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. We enjoyed a 5 course meal made from local ingredients and prepared by Paul Lewis, the chef of Cullen’s Upscale American Grille .  Each course was paired with a Texas wine, and the event was held at Jolie Vue Farms , about an hour and a half outside of Houston and a 15 minute country drive from Brenham Texas and the B&B.

We arrived around 2pm in sunscreen and cowboy boots to the farm and were greeted with Spicy Ritas, glasses of local wine, a lovely tea punch and  yummy Treaty Oak Gin & Tonics.  As we belted back the libations & listened to the live band, waitestaff passed by presenting trays of  baby peppers stuffed with chevre, hush puppies, watermelon gazpacho (my favorite), scotch eggs with fennel sausage (I serve these at the B&B for breakfast) and mini bahn mi sandwiches (these were little french loaves stuffed with pork belly, hogs head cheese, pork pate, arugula and dressing).

After a tour of the farm and quick introduction to the mission of Outstanding in the Field, we all made our way to the top of the hill and found our seats at one long table for 200.

Each group of 8 people shared the courses family style and the server was able to give us all the details on the ingredients used in preparation.

We started off with sourdough bread with whipped Texas butter and French breakfast radishes with pickled sweet squash.

Course number two was prosciutto with spicy arugula, eggplant caponata and shaved parmesan with peach balsamic vinaigrette.

After that we ate braised pork and red chili tamales with a pickled long bean salad.

Course number four was a 10 spice grass fed beef brisket with grilled okra and a squash, barley, feta and basil salad.  Everything was topped with a Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce from Dublin, Texas.  I  loved the okra and could have eaten a bowl full….just the right crunch and flavor!

And finally, pickled peaches with bourbon cajeta, frangipane tart, spiced macaroon and blueberry and lemon thyme compote.

During the meal, the farmers who provided all the ingredients walked around and told us about their farming operations, difficulties with the summer drought  and their gratitude for our support of local farming.  After the meal, guests meandered back to their cars for the drive home or  stayed to linger over that last glass of wine and watch the sun set over the Texas hills of Washington County!


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