How much would you pay for a farm-to-fork dinner?

Tomorrow I’m writing about a farm dinner outside of Asheville to be held Saturday night. Cost: $45. A few days ago I stumbled upon info about two other farm dinners in North Carolina this weekend. One is in the Triangle and the other in the Asheville/Marshall area. The cost? $180 a person. I find that staggering and would love to hear what others think.

These are put on by the for-profit group Outstanding in the Field. Based in California, they are a farm-to-table road show.

The first, on Saturday, is at Captain John S. Pope Farm in Cedar Grove. Until recently it was to be at Brinkley Farms, so I’m not sure what happened there. The chef is Shane Ingram of Four Square in Durham and the new One in Chapel Hill.

The next is Sunday at East Fork Farm in Marshall, and the chef is William Dissen of The Market Place  in Asheville. Coincidentally, former Market Place chef, founder, and regional farm-to-table pioneer Mark Rosenstein is cooking at the $45 fund-raiser.

I have great respect for John S. Pope and East Fork Farm and their farmers, as well as Shane Ingram and William Dissen. All will have listings in my book. But $180? I’m sorry, but it goes against my grain.

These dinners usually sell out. Will they in North Carolina? Or do we have enough comparable options at much lower costs? What do y’all think?

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13 Responses to How much would you pay for a farm-to-fork dinner?

  1. Steve Tate says:

    You might be interested to know about our farm meal events we call “Dinner At The Dairy”. We have hosted these for 15 years using our own dairy, pork, beef, herbs and organic vegetables. Lots of info. and photos on our website Price = $60 per person for a farm tour and five course meal in the Dining Room at Goat Lady Dairy.

  2. didaniel says:

    HI Steve. You must not be a regular reader. 😉 I’ve written about the dinners and you a few times here! Go to search function in top right of blog and type in Goat Lady Dairy. A few items will pop up. I love your farm and you were an early inspiration for my book!

  3. Lisa Supple says:

    Hi Diane, Thought you might be interested in this report from one of the diners at the Asheville event … I hope you’ll come experience one of our dinners for yourself someday! Best ~ Lisa / Outstanding in the Field

  4. didaniel says:

    Thanks for passing this along, Lisa. It looks like it was a great event. I’ve been to East Fork Farm — it’s in my book. They have lodging there as well, so people can actually stay on the farm and really soak up its wonderfulness, though they have to cook their own meals. I have to say that I can’t imagine ever spending $180 on a meal, no matter the setting or the menu. But that’s me. There are plenty of others who feel differently. Luckily there’s room for us all at the table. Well, maybe at adjacent tables! Eet smakelijk!

  5. Bob Pope says:

    Our event on Sept 18 was a huge success, a sell out of 150 people. Guest were from Michigan, DC, Richmond VA, Tennessee & Orlando FL. There were people from Russia that were here on business. Outstanding is super organized and everything went off without a hitch. Let me know if you would like pictures.

    • Diane Daniel says:

      That’s great for you and your farm, Bob. I’m not surprised the dinner sold out in that Outstanding in the Field events always seem to, though I was wondering if it might be different in NC. Guess not. I still think the price is crazy steep.

  6. Bob Pope says:

    The’re coming back next year. Do you want to come asy guest?

  7. didaniel says:

    I’d be happy to come and do a book signing, if you want. Your farm will be in my book, which will be out by your next dinner.

  8. Bob Pope says:

    You’re on. We’ll have the Pope family cookbook ready. Email me.

  9. didaniel says:

    Sounds good to me, Bob. I’ll be back in touch when the book is out! And I like the Pope family cookbook project!

    • Olivia says:

      I feel your pain. I have an idiot for my Congress Critter, too! He still hasn’t responded to my aksnig him to lend me the money I need to pay my bills because he and his fellow freshmen are holding my Social Security benefits hostage!

  10. Joy Bagley says:

    Is there a calender of events in the Asheville, NC, area? The field-to-fork events, that is.

  11. didaniel says:

    If there is, it would be through ASAP. Their list-serve includes events, but I don’t know if a calendar is posted anywhere. Website:

    Also, try Slow Food Asheville, at