Dora Pollak ’08 upends a fifth of brandy into a vat of simmering hard cider. She and housemate Julia Cattrall ’07 lean their heads over the rim and murmur about adding more cinnamon, concerned that the cider will “lose its narrative.” The juice was extracted from apples harvested on campus by Tom Mosier ’08, who built the cider press entirely by hand. The sources for tonight’s ingredients range from homegrown to foraged, commercial to salvaged.
Heightening awareness of food sources and production is central to Hebberoy’s mission to create deeper cultural consciousness about cooking and eating. For example, he recently gathered a handful of prominent Seattle chefs and spent a day with them, slaughtering, butchering, cooking, and consuming a pig. His call-out for partners in culinary crime at Reed was a beacon for students who were already cooperatively creating meals together. “For as long as I’ve been here,” says Cattrall, who was raised on an organic farm in Oregon, “Reed students have been canning summer produce from Sauvie Island, making berry preserves, brewing beer from whole grain, gardening in the city, baking bread, seeking out summer farming opportunities. We’ve been sharing this knowledge and the fruits of our labor with others around the dinner table.”
At their first meeting, this confidence surprised Hebberoy, who confessed himself skeptical that the students could pull off an impromptu dinner for 50—a number that might intimidate even an experienced chef. The students shrugged. After the Renn Fayre feast, one of them asked, how hard could it be?