309 Roberts St. N., Fargo
Eric Watson – Mezzaluna
Originally from Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
He and his wife Sara have 15 years of culinary experience.
Both are graduates of a three-year culinary apprenticeship at the Keystone Resort in Summit County, Colorado.
Both are certified through the American Culinary Federation.
Both have associate degrees of applied science in culinary arts.
Favorite menu items: Parma Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp (appetizer), Grilled Duck Breast & Leg Confit and the dessert bites
How did you decide to become a chef?
Well, I had a single mom, and so I cooked a lot at home. I started cooking for my mother and my brother when I was like 13. … I started out with really cheesy binder-style cookbooks for home cooks and just started making really simple recipes at home, and that’s kind of what sparked the original passion for it.
You work with your wife, what’s the best part of working with her?
The fact that we can be critical with one another and not get overly offended because we can’t be offended. … We’re kind of forced to get along and take each others’ criticism and grow and get better because of it.
What would you recommend to a first timer to Mezzaluna?
If you come in for happy hour (all week 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight), our happy hour food is the same as everything we serve all night. We just discount the heck out of it. … I always encourage people to come for the first time to experience happy hour because it’s a good entry level. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and then you can check out the menus and look at the dinning room.
Do you have any crazy cooking stories or kitchen mishaps?
A chef I used to work for, I used to help him do cooking classes. It was in Colorado, so the elevation would really get to people when they would come into town. Then they’d go to cooking class, and once in a while, someone would pass out from the altitude. This lady passed out in cooking class one day. … I had a pitcher of water and a pitcher of vinegar pretty close to each other. They called to me to get a glass of water. I poured her a big glass of white wine vinegar. So yeah, she woke up.
What’s the best part about being a chef?
It’s really a ton of hard work and a lot of hours. But I think easily the best part about it is when you can make people happy with food, and they acknowledge … that you really kind of made their day.