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OIMBY Returns After a Two-Year Break

Outstanding in the Field dinners -- meals which feature a tour of a local farm and food prepared by a master chef on the farm itself -- are famously fabulous, but also notoriously expensive. And two years ago, a few Houston food lovers decided to do something about it: start their own.

Outstanding in My Backyard was born from the idea that you can have all of the benefits of an Outstanding in the Field dinner -- local products prepared by talented cooks in a bucolic setting -- without shelling out hundreds of dollars.

Soon, OIMBY had attracted a guest list of 100 people for its first dinner, which saw dishes prepared by Houston chefs such as Jonathan Jones, Justin Basye, Michael O'Connor, Hugo Ortega and the now Austin-based Plinio Sandalio.

The meal was only $40, with most of the food donated by places like Utility Research Garden and Revival Market -- meaning that most of the ticket price went to charity.

Now, after a two-year hiatus, the backyard feast is being revived by one of Houston's local food pioneers: Monica Pope of t'afia.

Along with the help of the original two Houston foodies behind the project -- David Leftwich and Tara Kelly, who donated their own backyard for the first dinner -- Pope will be hosting the revived OIMBY [nearly] every Sunday at 5 p.m. in June and July. And this time, it'll be in Pope's own backyard.

Pope promises special guest appearances at each meal, which will still cost only $40 each. Both food and beverages will be provided; guests are only asked to bring their own plate to the feast. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 713-524-6922.


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