Dining under the stars

On Saturday Jenn planned a wonderful belated birthday celebration for me. She had to wait a couple months for the event but she knew this was the perfect gift. After an hour drive from San Jose, we arrived at Live Earth Farm (http://www.liveearthfarm.com/) in Watsonville.

So began a wonderful evening dining under the stars in the middle of a farm. You can’t get any better than this. All the produce, grown with care by Thom Broz, was picked the same day from the very field we were dining in. The pig we were fortunate enough to eat was raised by Jim Dunlop only a few miles from our dinner. The food was expertly prepared by Chef Justin Severino who is soon to open his own restaurant Ol’ Factory Cafe in Sand City.

The evening was absolutely spectacular. It was invigorating and relaxing at the same time. Words can’t put into perspective the feeling of enjoying the earth’s bounty from soil to table. As such, I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

Also check out Tana Butler’s great blog, I Heart Farms for a wealth of information on sustainable farming and chefs. She also has a post on the dinner as well, “To Die For: Outstanding Dinner with a Terrific Pig.”

Glasses awaiting wine from Alfaro Family Vineyards:


Salumi – The produce of Jim and Justin’s hard work:


The table:


Chef Justin Severino:


Thom Broz of Live Earth Farm with Jim Denevan in the background:


Jim Dunlop of TLC Ranch:


Chardonnay-braised pig’s feet manicotti:


Pinot noir and fennel porchetta:


Ruby beet-rasperry marmalade and Bravo Farm Silver Mountain White Cheddar:


Strawberry soup and herbed goat cheese purses:


The valley as the fog began to roll in:


Leave a Comment

  • E. Goh Sep 25, 2006, 11:36 am


    Thanks for the update. I really enjoyed all the Salumi Justin produced so I think his new shop will be a hit! I wish I could make it out but I’m completely slammed trying to get a new startup launched.

    Hope to see you soon at an event when thing calm down over here.

    Best regards,


  • Tana Sep 23, 2006, 5:41 pm

    Hey, Justin’s bagged the restaurant partnership and is working really hard on opening a butcher shop.

    More fabulous news: he’s doing a SECOND Outstanding in the Field farm dinner on October 15. You know it’s going to sell out!

    See you there?

  • E. Goh Jul 10, 2006, 3:06 pm


    Thanks for the info, I updated my post. Thanks again for all your posts about these great events. We found out about them through your blog (as we mentioned to you when we met).

    Justin is quite talented and we’ll be making the drive down to check him out when he opens. We met him briefly in Chef Kinch’s kitchen at Manresa. It’s always great to meet talented AND nice people. Justin certainly qualifies as both.

    See you soon at another event!


  • Tana Jul 10, 2006, 3:00 pm


    Note: Justin’s restaurant is to be located in Sand City. (You can Google my blog for more on him…he is worth following, don’t you think? Not only is he is an amazing talent, but a sweet, down-to-earth (and funny!) person.

    It was so lovely to meet you all, and to know what I had somehow inspired your presence at this meal.

    And belated happy birthday…