As part of his “Adventure, Exploration and Risk” Inquiry Seminar class, English professor Scott Olsen invited his students (and others) to attend The Very Big Lunch – a meal encompassing unusual dishes at Rustica in Moorhead.
The meal consisted of a charcuterie platter, veal sweetbread BLT, goat tacos, bone marrow ravioli, beef tongue pot pie and olive oil-saffron ice cream.
It gives them (students) the chance to grow and try new things. – Scott Olsen
Emma Clark ’19, a student in Olsen’s inquiry course, attended the lunch because it was something she had never done before. “Now I can say that I’ve tried these foods,” she says.
Eric Watson, head chef of Rustica, Mezzaluna and Mosaic Catering, prepared the meal. A couple of weeks before the lunch, he visited Olsen’s inquiry class to discover which global foods students were willing to try. They informed him that they were open to anything. “It’s fun to watch people try new food,” Watson says.
A few years ago, the course’s reading list included an essay called “The Very Big Lunch” in which the author traveled to Paris for a 32-course lunch. The essay inspired Olsen to share the idea of food exploration with students firsthand. Previous students have enjoyed food adventures at the Hotel Donaldson, Maxwells and other local restaurants.
“Watson is arguably one of the best chefs in the Midwest,” Olsen says. “It’s a rare opportunity to try these foods.”
Soft instrumental music played, the morning sunlight shimmered off the bricks, students chatted about the unique foods, laughed at each other’s reactions and took pictures to document the extravagant fare.
“They’ll remember this for the rest of their lives,” Watson says.
Photography by Sage Larson
Sage Larson '17 is studying multimedia journalism and Spanish.