STUDIES WITH THE KING OF FERMENTATION
Last month I had the pleasure to partake in a week-long Fermentation Residency with Sandor Katz. Who’s Sandor Katz, you ask? “One of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene” writes The New York Times… or “The Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation” as referred to by Michael Pollan. Whatever that means? I’m ESL. In any case, Sandor Katz is one of the most renown voices world-wide in the renaissance of fermentation and cultured foods. He is a James Beard award-winning author for his incredibly expansive and detailed book “The Art of Fermentation”.
Sandor would probably shudder a little at my boasting of his credentials. In truth, he is a very humble, generous, passionate human. He welcomed over a dozen of us from all parts of the world, to essentially take over his country home for a week at Walnut Ridge, in Canon County, Tennessee.
It was immersive and intensive. From morning to night, we started new fermentation projects each day on various subjects. In between the daily hands-on lessons, there was the beautiful communal effort to create all the meals. Ohhhh the meals... without a doubt we all had bloated bellies by the end from over-eating such healthy, flavorful food, AND from hyper-inoculating our bodies with all sorts of beneficial organisms!
For those of you who share a fanatical curiosity for all things-fermented; who are first in line to eat food teeming with beneficial bacterial colonies, do roll over the images for captions to delve a little deeper into the experience.
Although the fermentation did have a tuition fee, I was accepted to the program also on a work-trade agreement: to document the experience for the week with my photography. There are many, many more photos to come in other posts!
This post is merely an introduction to a week in the life and kitchen with Sandor – I'm excited to create the more recipe-format posts, based on my learning and take on everything from Tempeh, Miso and Sake, to Fermented dairy products, beverages, breads, and fermented veggies, of course!
My gratitude to Sandor for opening up his world, and for sharing his depth of knowledge and infectious passion with us without restraint. And to my fellow Fermentation-Residency-April-2017 alumni... thank you for all of the inspiration that each of you brought to share with all of us. I could hardly keep up between my camera and trying to jot down all of the unique ideas that each of you have crafted in your own fermentation experiments!
At the end of the day, it is in connecting to one another that makes life so rich. Without a doubt, that conviviality is what made this week memorable and abundant above all else.