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Amazing outdoor dining concept matches food with environment

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It we tried hosting an outdoor dinner party, we'd likely end up knee-deep in mud with soggy napkins and a dire shortage of booze - but these folks have the concept nailed.

Outstanding in the Field is a US-based company that takes the idea of alfresco dining to a whole new level, in a breathtakingly beautiful and creative initiative.

A "roving culinary adventure", its team tours the States with a retro bus and a giant outdoor table to host massive public dinner parties that match food with its environment in glorious and unusual settings all over the country.

From farms in Wisconsin to ranches under the big skies of Idaho and haciendas in the wine country of San Francisco, the company scours out gorgeous alfresco locations to set the scene with.

Founder Jim Denevan began Outstanding in the Field back in 1999.

"I came up with the idea of setting a long table on a farm and inviting the public to an open-air feast in celebration of the farmer and the gifts of the land," he says.

"I thought a big table, carefully composed alongside the ingredients for the evening’s feast would inspire both a conversation at the table and a broader discussion about food, community and the meaning of place.

"A traveling feast with a central vision of farmers, chefs, cheese makers, ranchers, foragers and winemakers in delicious communion with the people they sustain."

Wide open space and food aplenty: what more can you ask for?

Since then the concept has blossomed, moving to rooftops in Chicago, sea coves in Santa Cruz and estates in Hawaii, alongside the original farm idea.

In the past 1 years, more than 60,000 people have dined out with Outstanding in the Field in 600 events across 45 US states.

Unsurprisingly, demand for possibly the world's greatest outdoor dinner party is high and competition for tickets is fierce. The group releases a country-wide schedule each spring on its website and eager gourmands can book from there.

The gorgeous photos of places and food tell you all you need to know about Outstanding In The Field - we think we're in love.

The only question is, when does it come to the UK (please, food gods that be)?

Take a look at some incredible snaps from the project, below, and be inspired to host your own (possibly rainy and a big soggy) outdoor dinner party in these last days of summer.

Dinner at a hacienda in Sonoma Wine Country outside San Francisco (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

A meal at sunset over Johnson Farms in Madison, South Dakota (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

Big skies in Idaho (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

Grilled Sockeye salmon, anyone? (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

Setting the scene at Tani Creek Farm in Bainbridge Island, Washington (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

The chefs plate up an array of tempting delights in Oregon (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

The beauty of the ocean beckons at Secret Sea Cove, Santa Cruz (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

Who's hungry, then? (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

An incredible location at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

A glorious setting awaits at Split Rock Springs Ranch in Cloverdale, California (photo: Outstanding in the Field/Facebook)

Photos courtesy of Outstanding in the Field/Facebook

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