Steve Charles—History Professor Rick Warner was talking with students in his kitchen on a Tuesday afternoon.

Mark Shreve ’04 stood over the stove, showing one of the students how to mix pasta with the meat and sauce they had just made.

Behind them four other students were feeding dough through a pasta roller attached to Warner’s KitchenAide mixer and trying to get the thinness of just as Shreve had shown them, while another group tasted the first batch of pasta, sauce, and beef.

The voices of students—many who had taken Warner’s “Food and the Liberal Arts” or food history courses but were now learning on their own time—mingled with delicious smells in a kitchen renovated for moments just like these. An culinary immersion experience across the street from campus.

Taking it all in, Rick turned to me and said, “This is why I teach here.”

Of course, there are many reasons why Warner, the most recent winner of the College’s highest award for pedagogy, teaches at Wabash. But this afternoon spent cooking together captures Wabash at its best. Learning happens everywhere here. With only two day’s notice, Warner had been able to bring together in his home students hungry to learn with an alumnus expert willing to teach them. The conversation ranged from history to family recipes, from serious instruction and hilarious memories, from career aspirations to “please pass the cheese.”

The Warners practice hospitality to learning of all sorts, and Rick’s kitchen has become one of my favorite classrooms.

But this session wouldn’t have been possible without Shreve. The founder of Cuoco Fresh Pasta in Denver, CO, he returned to Indiana to work with local chef Lali Hess in preparing a dinner for a group of Wabash trustees the previous evening. That meal which included food or beverages from three Wabash alumni and Dean of the College Scott Feller.

Director of Communications Kim Johnson photographed Shreve and Hess at the Juniper Spoon kitchen as they got things ready, and I photographed Shreve’s session with the students for Wabash Magazine.

Take a look at the photos above for some moments from those two events.