Culinary Instructor Selected for Arts-Meets-Agriculture Residency

Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) associate culinary arts professor Thor Erickson was recently named as one of 26 artists across the country to receive a 2022 residency by the Pine Meadow Ranch Center for the Arts and Agriculture, an educational project operated by the Sisters-based Roundhouse Foundation. It’s the first culinary-specific residency for the program.

“As an educator and chef, I am always seeking to learn more,” said Erickson, whose credentials include conducting a culinary demonstration in the White House’s kitchen and serving as chef for a number of Bend-area restaurants.

“I have continually been drawn to our region’s Indigenous cultures and how they utilize the bounty of the landscape to create food,” he said of his residency. “Learning about these ingredients, techniques and histories, and later honoring those traditions with my students and the community is the theme of my residency.”

From the official press announcement:

Pine Meadow Ranch Center for the Arts and Agriculture, a working ranch in Sisters, Oregon, focused on arts, agricultural and ecological projects, has awarded residencies to 26 artists, scientists, scholars and researchers working on individual or collaborative interdisciplinary projects and other forms of creative work. Throughout the year, awardees will be hosted at the Ranch for two-week residencies. Two recipients will be in residence at a time and each will have studio space for their own artistic practice. They will also participate in community events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops and roundtable talks for the public.

The shape of Erickson’s residency, he explained, will look a little different due to his teaching schedule and the nature of his project, which will take place in increments over an 18-month period, giving him time to plant crops, forage and preserve food at the ranch. The residency culminates in the fall of 2023.

“I look forward to connecting with the community about what I have learned from Native American teachers and historians about ingredients from our region, and how they are procured, preserved, prepared and shared with others,” he said.

Erickson has been an instructor at COCC since 2009 and is past chair of the Cascade Culinary Institute.

Chef Thor Erickson