Sunday, February 26, 2023

Outstanding in the Field San Miguel de Allende 2023

Traveler, Diane Leeds, who attended 87 Outstanding in the Field events last year and over 400 in total called San Miguel de Allende’s 2023 Outstanding in the Field event epic. How’s that for an endorsement?

The venue, Canada de la Virgen, is one of the most magical places on earth; just 30 km from San Miguel de Allende. There are streams to play in, rolling hills and canyons that cut through a high-elevation plateau. Its beauty takes your breath away every time you turn around to take another look. You gasp out of pure amazement at the splendor of its landscape, the vastness of its terrain. There are wide open spaces and the full moon shining that day made you want to spend the night here sleeping under the stars. Wild horses unexpectedly sprint by but there is also a sense of peace here that no one can describe. To say its intense is an understatement; I can still feel it with me a week and four days later.

The gastronomic event of the year took place at a long, winding table set in the middle of a field overlooking an ancient pyramid. 150 people came to take part in the experience and went away feeling deeply rewarded. The Outstanding in the Field staff and Chef Donnie Masterton’s field kitchen crew did an incredible job despite the many obstacles. 

Food lovers came, like you and me, for Chef Donnie Masterton’s cooking and his lifelong collaboration with local farmers, growers, cheesemakers, vinters and brewers; something he’s done from the very beginning. There were aficionado’s hungry for an up-close and more personal look at hosts Alex and Sofia Trapp’s beautiful Canada de la Virgen and the ancient pyramid built by the Otomi people around 530 AD. It was truly remarkable as the backdrop for our late afternoon lunch. And then there were the chefs with discriminating taste: Linnea Ruffo, Kirsten West and Marc Misseri of Panio.

You could have eaten your weight in Canada de la Virgen filet mignon and still feel hungry because the food defined comfort at its best, straight from the heart of the chef. There was Lengua and even Birdie’s Burgers made an appearance long enough for French photographer, Nicholas De Panam and I, to polish off a private stash brought to us by the cooks. The breads from Panio were divine and the spreads were laced with smoky red lentils, mesquite honey and reserved lemon butter. There were delightful appetizers from Hacienda la Romita and Chef Donnie Masterton’s own farm, Ranchito el Garbanzo. Two dishes, the Canada de la Virgen Steak Tartare with El Capricho cured egg yolk and croutons and the Chinaberry Farms eggplant with Queso de Remos, were my delight in hopes the chef will put them on his menu at The Restaurant. It was all topped off with homemade lemon doughnuts, a signature dessert for the second year in a row, washed down with Casa Dragones - SMA’s own acclaimed tequila. Gunther Maier, one of the owners of Santa Cuviso Bacanora and a partner in Casa Agave, brought in Mezacale de Campo. Master Distiller, German Gonzalez Gorrochotegui, will be in charge of this new mescal and another brand being distilled in the first new distillery in San Miguel de Allende and the state.

Life happens in the midday sun so savor every hard-edge, half-open eyes and sun spot that you see against this bluer than blue sky. This was real life on one of the most magical days in San Miguel de Allende; one that none of us who were lucky enough to be there will soon forget.

Buen Provecho!