Master Chef Susan Gary, founder of the Owl Café, and her partners Cassie Gary and Melvin Myers have been tapped to perform this Saturday, Jan. 21, when Outstanding in the Field returns to 13-Mile Seafood.
Outstanding in the Field (OITF) is a roving restaurant without walls and the pioneer of pop-up dining at the source of the feast.
The meal featuring local fish and shellfish will be served in sight of Apalachicola Bay at 13 Mile west of the city. Before they dine, owner Tommy Ward will educate guests about the state of Apalachicola's oyster beds.
The Jan. 21 gathering on the beach is one of the stops on OITF's 2017 Winter Tour -- table-to-farm dinners in warm-weather locales including Chile, Argentina, Hawaii, New Orleans, Florida, South Carolina, Mexico, Texas and Arizona. This is OITFs third visit here.
Ward asked OITF’s organizers to showcase a local chef this year and suggested the crew at the Owl.
Founded by chef/artist Jim Denevan, OITF has been bringing its long table to farms in North America and around the world since 1999, inviting diners to open-air meals in celebration of farmers, and the gifts of the land - and sea. OITF serves up to 200 diners seated at a single long table during their culinary extravaganzas.
Cassie Gary said the Owl crew got their invitation to cook earlier this year, but as of last Friday, the menu was not set and the cooks were still investigating local sources.
“They have no input on what you prepare but they like for you to use local products,” she said. “Of course we’ll use oysters and some kind of fish. They bring along a portable kitchen with two large charcoal grills.”
Cassie Gary said dessert will be baklava made with local tupelo honey and “Hooter Brown” stout cake made with brew from the Owl’s annex, the Oyster City Brewing Company.
What does she consider will be the greatest challenge of the meal? “Keeping hot food warm while being served outside in January.”
Gary said she, her mother Susan Gary and Myers will be on site at around 10 a.m. on Saturday.