The city of Charleston is so charming and the draw of Lowcountry oysters is so strong that we’ve decided to come a day early for another night at Barrier Island Oyster Co. with hosts Josh Eboch, Kendra Tidwell and Hamlin Auld. Their oysters all grow in floating cages at the mouth of the ocean, creating a crisp, clean, tide-tumbled flavor. We’ll watch the tides change around the oyster beds before sitting down for dinner from Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch of Church and Union and Tempest, located right next door (and voted 2020’s Best New Restaurant by USA Today’s 10 Best). Chef Jamie’s commitment to local ingredients led him to start his own farm to supply his restaurant in 2019. Maybe we’ll see his home-grown produce alongside some Barrier Island oysters at the table.
We love the Sayle family and the historic farmhouse at Boggy Creek so much, we’re sticking around for a second night. We also can’t leave Austin without getting some really great BBQ, so we’ve invited one of the city’s best pitmasters to dinner. Evan LeRoy runs LeRoy and Lewis, an experimental BBQ truck dedicated to sourcing meat from small, responsible purveyors in Texas. You’re just as likely to find beef cheeks as brisket on their menu. It’s safe to say chef Evan knows a thing or two about open flame cooking, so we can’t wait to see what he does in the field kitchen while we dine between Boggy Creek’s abundant vegetable beds.
The Peeler family has been in the cattle business for over 100 years. Their 3,000-acre ranch is home to hundreds of Wagyu cattle, goats, sheep, horses and water buffalo who happily graze on green and golden grass—and we’ll be dining right in the middle of it all. If we’re lucky, hosts Marianna and Peter may show off their horsemanship skills by the table, but they will definitely welcome us with their signature Southern hospitality. Patrick Jackson of Austin’s Paperboy and San Antonio’s exciting new addition, Full Goods Diner, will be joining us as guest chef for the night. He has become well known in the area for his seasonally-driven cuisine that artfully blends Mexican and American flavors, a true reflection of Southern Texas style. We can’t wait to see what he does with Peeler Farms’ meat, showing us firsthand why they’ve become a favorite of chefs across the San Antonio restaurant scene.
Janna Anderson is a first generation farmer, but her land carries a long history. Pinnacle Farms’ fragrant lemon, grapefruit and orange orchards carry on the long-held tradition of citrus farming in the Southwest, and the rare Maktoom date trees have origins in early 1900s Iraq. At Pinnacle, Janna focuses on growing crops suited to the arid climate of Arizona, and has created a vast diversity of tastes and textures from her fields. We will get the chance to try some of her favorites at dinner prepared by our guest chef, René Andrade. Sonoran-born Andrade is a master of woodfire cooking, which he shows off at his restaurant, Bacanora. There, he’s won accolades from the likes of the James Beard Foundation and GQ. Chef René is joining us at Coachella this spring, and we’re already looking forward to his next turn in the field kitchen near his hometown of Phoenix.
Charleston has become a must-visit American city partly because of its explosive local food scene. Certainly, the charming architecture, cobblestone streets and amazing waterfront don’t hurt either. We’re setting the table just south of the city at Barrier Island Oyster Co.— a thriving oyster farm where hosts Josh Eboch, Kendra Tidwell and Hamlin Auld raise Lowcountry oysters at the mouth of the open ocean. We’ll slurp some delectable bivalves alongside crisp wines while overlooking their floating cages. Then we’ll sit down to dinner with Kevin Getzewich from The Kingstide. Chef Kevin showcases the Lowcountry’s seafood bounty through his woodfired preparations, pairing it with his favorite seasonal ingredients.
This is one of our favorites. Our fruitful relationship with farmers Joe and Judith started out many years ago and we have been coming back to set our table here ever since. Love is Love is now worker-owned, growing nutritious, consciousness-raising food and flowers for the North Georgia region while providing living wages and benefits for all the cooperative’s employees. Importantly, they are working towards a future in which their farmland will remain agricultural in perpetuity. We love to set our table in their beds of summer produce, and can’t wait to welcome the chefs from Chai Pani into the field kitchen. Their “mindblasting” street food-inspired Indian cuisine has earned them recognition from the James Beard Foundation and the New York Times, and will certainly delight everyone at the table.
It’s been a while since we last visited Karen Overton and her family at Wedge Oak Farm. Our first trip there was about ten years ago, when Karen immediately asked Seth to guide a loose Mangalitsa pig back into its pen — it’s been love ever since. The Overton family has raised a range of poultry and cattle since 1904 on their beautiful, tree-sprinkled land, including their famed Mangalitsas, considered the “Kobe beef of pork”. We promise to double check the locks on the pigpens before bringing you to the table for dinner with guest chef Levi Raines. He runs the kitchen at The Dutch, a classic American spot in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini, building the menu around the best of what’s in season — a perfect fit for peak produce season in Tennessee.
We’re back for the third year in a row with this incredible mashup of inspirational chef and site. Before Daron Babcock started Bonton Farms, this area of South Dallas was devoid of any fresh food options for its residents. Now, they have a vibrant urban farm, farmer’s market, and café with a mission to invest in both the soil of their gardens and the soul of their community. As we wander through their garden beds full of mid-summer produce, you’ll see some free-range chickens, friendly goats, and pigs. Then we’ll sit down to dinner in a grassy field where you’ll feel like you’re miles away from the big city. Guest chef Chad Houser will be back in the field kitchen to delight us with his award-winning food. Chad works with at-risk youth at his non-profit restaurant Cafe Momentum where they learn life and career skills while cooking up locally sourced menus featuring house-made charcuterie, cheese, and vinegars. We can’t wait to welcome him and his well-known sense of humor back to Bonton while we dine beneath the big Texas sky.
Boggy Creek holds a lot of history for both Austin’s farming community and OITF. We visited on our first cross country tour in 2005, when the future of OITF was feeling uncertain at best. Carol Ann Sayle and Larry Butler offered us some much-needed encouragement to continue our storytelling mission, and now we stop by every year for a little boost. Carol is a pioneer of urban farming in the US, and her charming farmhouse is one of the oldest existing homes in Austin. Every time we stop by this oasis in the middle of the city, we are surprised to see how Austin has evolved around it, turning into a world-class destination. In the field kitchen, we’re celebrating another piece of OITF history and inviting back the team from La Condesa, who first joined us in those early days. Rick Lopez is now their executive chef, and helped lead the team to a spot on the James Beard shortlist for Outstanding Restaurant in 2023. Chef Rick will surely show off his bold mexican flavors and his passion for locally sourced produce at the long table.
This is our fifth year at Pinnacle Farm, and we are so in awe of Farmer Janna Anderson. Pinnacle Farm has abundant shade and a gorgeous view of South Mountain from the table. Farmer Janna has a matter of fact, no-nonsense manner typical of hard-working farmers. An appreciation of the view isn’t the first thing on her ever-busy mind. Farming in Arizona is challenging, and you’ll hear it straight from her — the ground truth, no sugar coating. We will gather to celebrate the rewards of planting seeds, tending crops, and bringing it all to harvest with an Autumn meal from guest chef Stephen Jones. Stephen regularly sources from Pinnacle and other local farms for his restaurant, the larder + the delta, where he combines New Southern cuisine with the diverse agricultural bounty of the Southwest. His imaginative and community-driven cooking has earned him quite a few awards over the years; this year, he’s a James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for Outstanding Chef.