A Message from the Founder

Which event should I go to? Which is your favorite?

(pictured above: Master gardener Toby Leaman and Outstanding in the Field founder Jim Denevan begin the opening remarks at Wattles Farm in Hollywood.)


A gorgeous setting with the long table placed just so. Courses arrive gracefully, glasses are filled and already spirited conversation rises in volume. This is the recipe for Outstanding in the Field and when all is well it seems like right here right now is the best place in the world.

As I stroll along the table looking for the newbies, checking in with the regulars and saying hello, no matter how outstanding or even extraordinary the day is, I always get the same questions:

“Which event should I go to?”

“What is your favorite?”

There is not an easy answer, as the variables are many. My first thought is, “how could it be any better than today?” Often people just want to know what event has the best view. But deep down, they really want to know which event do I find the most meaningful.

A recent event, for me, exemplified the meaning and the possibility of what we do.

Last week, we set the table at Wattles Farm, a community garden just off Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. An unexpected site (a farm in Hollywood?), all proceeding gracefully with an air of gathered intention. Our master gardener, Toby Leaman, joined by eager and curious guests, notable beverage producers and a local guest chef dedicated to community and craft; all the requisite Outstanding ingredients. Adding to our day, there were unique weather challenges and the need to find whimsical weather solutions. The resulting harvest of connection is succeeded by combined effort.

I suppose Wattles IS my favorite, as it is powerful and present lingering in the memory. In the coming season, somewhere on the Summer/Fall schedule, is your favorite event and its unique memories. Where will it be?

Jim Denevan
Founder of Outstanding in the Field