Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

June 29, 2014


I Was Outstanding In The Field

closeup empty table

I have sort of a short bucket list and yesterday I checked off one of my wishes. I’ve been following the exploits of the Outstanding in the Field team for some time now, all the while dreaming about taking part one of their events. Last night I attended their dinner at the ranch of the Temecula Olive Oil Company located in Aguanga CA located about twenty miles east of the town of Temecula.



The ranch is the perfect combination of rusticity and elegance. Yes it’s a working farm, but it’s also a great spot for an event. The owners give tours on the second and fourth Saturdays so be sure to take a look at their website (linked above).


The evening started with drinks provided by a local winery and a brewery offering two different beers (San Diego has a well earned title as the craft beer capitol of the country). Hors d’ouevres were passed with a focus on seafood-the chef for this dinner was from The Fishery located in San Diego. My favorite starter was the grilled horseradish marinated shrimp with a tomato shooter. J’s pick was the deviled eggs topped with spicy crab and sea beans.



I have to say that I’ve read a lot about the Outstanding in the Field events and have heard from various people and read on line that many thought that there’s not enough food. I will say that the starters were passed for well over an hour and you certainly could have filled up on the four options that were offered.


Next up was a mini tour of the ranch led by the owners who gave a good overview of how the company and this ranch came to be along with the lowdown on how their exceptional oil is produced. The oil maker is on the California Olive Council and his passion for the product and knowledge of the industry was evident in his talk.




By this point we were all wondering “where is the dining table?”. We were led down a path and finally ended up in the midst of trees where you had to pick up your plate. Diners are encouraged to bring their own plates (which we did) but they have plenty available if you don’t. Finally we discovered the one long table that was set for our dinner.


sitting down

another sitting down

Once at the table you got to choose your own seat where the menu for the dinner was tucked into your napkin. Baguettes were strewn around the able along with bottles of Temecula Olive Oil and dipping was encouraged. The waiters were busy pouring wine and answering questions from the diners.

the menu

at the table

We started with an arugula salad with cured salmon, peaches and soy gelee. Next up was my favorite dish of the evening-swordfish meatballs served atop a squash and cherry tomato medley. Hopefully you will be seeing this dish on the blog soon because I am going into the kitchen to attempt a recreation!


whole table

The last entree was seared ahi with a perfect summer salad of roasted corn, avocado and cherry tomato. One of the highlights of my evening was when J. said “this food all tastes like you made it”…

corn and ahi

at the table2

I am never one to pass up dessert and this one was the perfect ending to the evening. The sun had set, candles were brought to the table and I couldn’t wait to dig into this summery berry delight. The cake was light with a crunchy streusel topping and we were all thrilled to find that there were extra slices on the platter.


Between the wine, the incredible food and the new friends made at the table I have to say that this was an evening to remember. Thank you to Temecula Olive Oil Company for being the host, to the Fishery for the food and to the Outstanding crew for your hard work.

dark table

15 thoughts on “I Was Outstanding In The Field

  1. Thank you Panini Girl for the sumptuous recreation and beautiful photos of your magical evening.

  2. OMG! WHen I first opened this and saw the picture, I almost passed out, thinking you were in Lucca at the Guiness World Record event for “longest table” on the wall! OK, caught my breath….LOL! This looks like a ton of fun. Love that area of California. Hope all is well with you!

  3. I love outdoor dinners in the warm weather and especially in such a beautiful spot – that table looks so long!

  4. I LOVE the long table setting, how beautiful, especially with the candles alight!!! Love the menu too. What a fab night, wish I had been there B

  5. What a wonderful place for an extraordinary event. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Bellissima tavola! Reminds me of Babette’s Feast. I love how all of the plates are so colourful but different. Cristina

  7. What a wonderful event. We’re pretty fortunate herein California-we can do this all year ’round, but now really is the prime time for this sort of affair. Thanks for sharing this wonderful evening.

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