The Culinary Visionary and Sand Artist
Jim Denevan is a 21st century renaissance man. He’s a land artist, chef and culinary visionary behind Outstanding in the Field — a culinary experience that is the antithesis of standing in an endless food line at a festival. First, his land art: Jim plays with the earth’s topography to create works of sometimes vast, sometimes intimate scale, in sand, earth and ice. His works are ephemeral and disappear with the waves, the wind, the seasons. Which leads us back to the incredible dinner series hosted in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations — sometimes in a field, and always just for one night. Every once in a while, Jim brings his artworks to one of his dinners, creating what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. His life and art are the focus of Man in the Field, a documentary released in 2021.
Jim founded Outstanding in the Field in 1999 — long before farm-to-table was the widespread movement it is now — to showcase local ingredients from the farming regions where each meal is served. The experience revolves around the beauty of the land and focuses on connection through the great equalizers: food and conversation. More recently, the highly coveted dinner series has expanded to include international stops and Jim has also collaborated on events for Coachella, Art Basel and the LA Times Food Bowl. Sometimes, if guests are lucky, dinners will also feature Jim’s land art installations, which he started creating as a form of meditation. Now, projects like his sand sculpture in Tofino, have earned him global recognition. In 2021, Jim contributed his sand art to See Me: A Global Concert, an original musical film that fused performances by orchestras and choirs from around the world, during the pandemic.