Outstanding in the Field Coming to Lollapalooza

Outstanding in the Field at City Farm

Chicago fans of the cultish Outstanding in the Field national tour – where a local chef connects with a local farm(er) and cooks a multi-course meal in the field for guests who sit at one long table – may have been upset to see that both the Aug. 6th and 7th dinners at City Farm were sold out. Clearly, having Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle) cook on the 6th, and Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice) on the 7th proved to be too popular, even at $240 a head. The setting, at the corner of Division and Clybourn (pictured) is a rare chance to see how produce can grow (and thrive) in the midst of an urban environment, and the views of the city from there are breathtaking. But local fans will have three more chances to take in an OitF dinner here in Chicago this summer. Sources tell me that there will be dinners held each night during Lollapalooza, on the grounds at Grant Park, cooked by the chefs from Lula Cafe, La Sirena Clandestina and Hot Chocolate.


The move is likely a response by Lolla’s organizers – C3 Presents – to the successful OitF dinners held during Coachella earlier this year. At that popular California music festival, held over two consecutive weekends, there were two dinners each night, manned by two completely different kitchen crews. At more than $200 a head for each dinner, which accommodated upwards of 200 guests at a time, well, you can see how the math looks awfully appealing to the bottom line. Why not squeeze a little more revenue out of the event, and add an attraction that might actually appeal to people over 25?


“It’s gonna be rad,” La Sirena’s John Manion said. “I’m hoping to collaborate with a local butcher; the food will be [Argentina über griller] Francis Mallmann mashed up with Outkast. I’ve always wanted to do one of these dinners and I was psyched to be invited.” Manion is slated for Aug. 2, Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe) will most likely go Aug. 1 and Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) will bat cleanup on Aug. 3rd.


Despite his association with curating the Chow Town (food booth) vendors at Lolla, chef Graham Elliot apparently did not have a hand in recruiting chefs or organizing any of the OitF dinners.

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