Koji • Fermentation • Science • Pickles • Cultures
About our Executive Chef/CEO and co-founder: Ken Fornataro has acquired extensive knowledge of the science and techniques that have been all but forgotten with the increasing industrialization of food. Still in his teens, he was named Executive Chef at the Hermitage restaurant in Boston.
From there he worked at prestigious and often private establishments around the world where he practiced his craft. He ran the kitchen and catering services for Troutbeck in upstate New York, using locally grown and sustainably sourced ingredients.
At Bloomingdales flagship store in Manhattan, he ran the Fresh Foods department kitchens that included a line of his own prepared, preserved and fermented foods, as well as daily preparations directed by Michel Guérard, Petrossian, Marcella Hazen and other renowned chefs invited from around the world.
In the late 80s he was recruited to use his skills and training as a scientist to assist in scientific endeavors to find treatments to fight pathogenic viruses and microbes, including strains or Aspergillus, Bacillus, Rhizopus and other microbes. He collaborated with researchers, clinicians, government and industry to develop new treatments for viruses such as HPV, HCV, HIV, and immune system deficiencies as well.
He founded The Access Project with The Kaiser Family Foundation and NASTAD, and The Network with the support of federal, state and many corporate partners.
Ken’s knowledge of microbiology and rigorous methodology has helped him greatly in the kitchen where he employs koji and bacteria and enzymes to create tasty and nutritious food and beverages. It’s where he always wanted his research lab to be anyway.