With $5,000 luxury camping tents, gigantic art installations, and VR headsets, it's apparent that Coachella is a music festival experience unlike any other. And arguably the most profound case in point is Outstanding in the Field, a four-course sit-down dinner featuring farm-to-table fare prepared by a fleet of world-renowned chefs. (If you made it out to California this weekend, you may have seen the lengthy 220-person table nestled in the Rose Garden VIP area, a quiet respite from the crowds, where wristband holders can stop and smell the roses—literally.)
Once the proverbial doors opened (like most dining options at the festival, the set-up was outside), guests were welcomed with a refreshing lime margarita made with Avion Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and organic agave nectar—a nod to the evening's Mexican menu, prepared by Daniel Ovadia of PAXIA in Mexico City, Jose Manuel Baños Rodriguez of Pitiona in Oaxaca, and Francisco Ruano of Alcade in Guadalajara. As we took our seats, music by The Chainsmokers pulsated from the nearby Sahara tent, and the first course was served: a spicy scallop ceviche with ginger and vanilla emulsion, accompanied by a bone-dry Riesling.
Next was a surprisingly delicious merkava salad with radishes, beets, carrots, and kale in a green garlic vinaigrette and Greek yogurt dressing, then a platter of double-decker fish and carnitas tacos as a lead-up to the main event: whole pig carnitas with brandy, tomatillo and chile salsa, which tasted perfectly tender and juicy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Dessert consisted of arroz con leche atop a generous scoop of sweet honey ice cream with soy tea and white chocolate, assuring guests would remain full well through Calvin Harris's headlining set.
The group was eclectic: a mix of foodies, hard-core music lovers, middle-aged empty nesters, and frat boys in tank tops. Nonetheless, everybody gelled, sharing each of the courses family-style and exchanging stories about their favorite performances of the weekend so far. Mid-way through the meal, a group of Idahoans got up from their seats to dance to The Chainsmoker's hit single, "Roses," and encouraged everyone else to do the same. Many considered it, but didn't want to risk missing out on the main course.