Outstanding in the Field with Bison!

Last weekend we attended what might be the most stunning Outstanding in the Field event we have been to thus far. If you are a follower of my blog you know I love these events (I have been to about a dozen so far), but this setting really was gorgeous.

The event was held at North Bridger Bison, a family run bison ranch located in the Shields Valley of Montana, tucked between the Bridger and Crazy mountain ranges; and the chef was the extremely talented Eduardo Garcia of Montana Mex– an unbeatable combination.

As we approached the Ranch we passed a large group of bison, who seemed to know it was a special event. After drinks and appetizers we were welcomed by the folks from Outstanding in the Field as well as the owner of North Bridger Bison, Matt Skoglund, who along with his wife Sarah have poured their hearts and souls into their endeavor. Their management of both the land and the animals is remarkable, and they were anxious to share it with all of us.

We usually go to these events with friends, but it is the kind of thing you could go to alone and leave with a group of new pals. It is unique in that everyone who participates is enthusiastic, and friendly, and inevitably by the end of the evening people are exchanging both hugs and contact information.

After a good bit of mingling we made our way up to the table, a moment that is always highly anticipated. In our case we trekked up through the sagebrush (it smelled divine) and finally set eyes on the table which was situated at the top of a bluff . As per usual the guests are asked to bring plates from home which are taken upon arrival and then collected once it is time to grab seats. There is plenty of time for photos beforehand.

We were a group of eight, and found ourselves right in the middle of the action. The food is served family style, and there are accommodations made for dietary restrictions (vegetarian/gluten free in my case). These events generally run around 6 hours, with the dinner usually taking about 4 hours from start to finish. The servers deserve extra accolades as they are navigating the rough terrain with overflowing platters of food from the cooking tent to the table. The menu took advantage of Bison from the Ranch as well as all the other ingredients which were sourced locally from Montana.

To be honest, I was very bust socializing, so my photos of the dinner are somewhat incomplete. Suffice it to say everything was delectable, and while the Bison main course drew tremendous ooohs and aaahs, I was happier admiring them from afar. My substitutions were just as tasty and beautifully presented as the mainstream dishes.

After dinner I wandered to the edge of the bluff to watch the bison making their way to another field for the night. It was breathtaking.

Towards the end of dinner we were able to show our appreciation for Eduardo (as an aside, if you would like to learn more about Eduardo Garcia, take the time to watch Charged, an excellent documentary about his amazing life) as well as the team who made the evening a reality.

I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect night, both the setting as well as the meal were absolute perfection. If you are looking for an unforgettable evening take a look at the upcoming OiTF events and treat yourself. The price is not inexpensive, but it is worth every penny.

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