Contact Information

Office of Alumni Relations
Loyalty Hall
Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101

Phone: 563-387-1164
Fax: 563-387-1322

Summer Norse Short Courses

Join us on campus this summer and take a Norse Short Course!


Culinary Arts – TWO SPACES LEFT

Culinary Arts: Beginner Chef Class

Friday, June 30 – Sunday, July 2

This three-day course will feature amazing food prepared by professional chefs and registrants. We will discuss basic culinary foundations and practice the fundamentals of safe cooking, knife skills, and plating presentation. We will also review the methods of food production from the source to the table, including a trip to the Decorah Farmer’s Market to select food for our meals. (See detailed schedule below). Instructors: Luther College’s Executive Chef Ryan Pederson and Catering Chef Justin Scardina ’04. Space is limited to the first 14 participants and participants must be 16 years of age or older.


Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23

This course will develop your vision as a photographer by learning classic photographic principles and techniques and then practicing them with your camera or smartphone. Both have a remarkable number of features and controls that are waiting to be unlocked by their owners. Join us as we explore the principles of photography by turning off those automatic features. Course content includes: historical context, visual critiques, best practices, and ways to share your work.  Instructor: Jay Raabe, Multimedia Lead  at Luther College. Space is limited to the first 15 participants and participants must be 18 years of age or older.

More Information


To register go here¬†and click on the blue ‚ÄúRegister Now‚ÄĚ button.¬† Click that, and then you will be asked to set up an account in Iris to complete the registration. Please use a credit card and not PayPal, as Luther does not have PayPal capability.


Photography Short Course:

Full Resident Bundle (housing, five meals, course fee): $280 per person (single or double occupancy)

No Housing Bundle (five meals and course fee, no housing): $205 per person.

Culinary Arts Short Course:

Full Resident Bundle (housing, five meals, course fee and materials): $395 per person (single or double occupancy)

No Housing Bundle (five meals and course fee, no housing): $325 per person

Participants will also receive a chef’s coat, apron and knife.

Guests of the participants are invited to enjoy Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch with the class. Cost TBD.

For either course:

If you have a spouse, partner or child that will be accompanying you, but not participating in the short course, housing is available for a fee of $75 per person. Meals are not included but can be purchased in the cafeteria.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

30 days prior to the course’s start date:¬† $50 administrative fee
Less than 30 days prior: $100 administrative fee


Culinary Arts Short Course:

Ryan Pederson has been working in the food industry in Decorah for 17 years. He began as a dishwasher at La Rana Bistro and worked his way up to chef. He was there for most of a decade, receiving training from Justin Scardina. Ryan also worked at Magpie Coffee House and the Hotel Winneshiek. He came to Luther College in 2013, where he worked under executive chef Caleb Timp. Ryan worked his way up through the ranks and became the catering chef for five years, and now serves the Norse Culinary Team as executive chef.

A Chicago native, Justin Scardina ’04 is catering chef for the Norse Culinary Team and chef/owner of Driftless Food & Catering in Decorah. Previously he spent the past 25 years working in fine dining restaurants in Northeast Iowa and Wisconsin, including La Rana Bistro and Toppling Goliath Brewery in Decorah and Cafe D‚Äôvine in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Justin has been published in many magazines and was ranked in the top of Iowa chefs by Best Chefs of America 2013 & 2014. He is a graduate of Luther College with a B.A. in accounting and a minor in economics. He resides in Decorah with his partner, daughter Adina, and cats Mitten, Toro and Sushi.

Photography Short Course:

Jay Raabe is a photographer and designer based in Decorah, Iowa who creates photos, books, and video to share stories. He graduated from The University of Iowa with a BA in Photography and worked as a freelance producer for a decade before earning an MA in Design from The University of Northern Iowa. Aside from making things, he enjoys teaching and talking about art with students of every age. Jay currently holds the position of Multimedia Lead in the ITS department at Luther College.

Farwell Residence Hall provides air-conditioned rooms with spartan furniture, including very basic twin beds. Linens are provided, but you may want to bring your own pillow, an extra blanket, and a reading light. Bathrooms are shared.


Friday:  1  Р6:30 p.m.


-Basic food safety and sanitation

-Knife Skills – vegetable processing

-Prepare protein for Saturday dinner




Saturday:  8 a.m. Р6:30 p.m.

-Breakfast prepared by chefs

-Field trip to Farmers Market to procure ingredients for upcoming meals

-Clean and prepare ingredients for lunch salad

-Vinaigrettes/Dressings – use for lunch and also vegetable seasoning for dinner

-Lunch – Entree salad prepared by students

-Baking lesson: Short crust prepared for quiche on Sunday

-Develop brunch menu; prepare other items for brunch

-Roasting demo using vinaigrette from lunch

-Grilling meat prepared the night before

-Sauce work – incorporate Pulpit Rock Brewery Beer

-Plating demo

-Dinner prepared by students; pairing with Pulpit Rock Beer


Sunday: 8 – 11 a.m.

-Coffee and pastry – discussion brunch service – assignments for firing

-Execute brunch menu 

-Brunch prepared by students 

-Course completion and certificates 


Friday: 1- 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. – 12 noon and 1 – 4 p.m.

Sunday: 9 – 12 noon

Plan Your Visit

Contact Information

Office of Alumni Relations
Loyalty Hall
Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101

Phone: 563-387-1164
Fax: 563-387-1322