Cultured & Cured

Cultured and Cured Session #2 Times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • Introduction of Session – Sandor Katz
  • 6:00 to 6:30 PM – Alex Gunuey and Amy Kalafa of A-ray.tv
  • 6:30 to7:00 – Dr. Johnny Drain
  • 7:00 to 7:30 – Dr. Darra Goldstein
  • 7: 30 to 8:00 – Dr. Ken Albala

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Cultured & Cured

Cultured & Cured explores the art and science of cultivating microbes for good health and fabulous flavors. Featuring top professionals in the world of fermentation, brewing, curing and pickling, Cultured & Cured goes beyond food trends, illuminating the biological activities that make food naturally delicious and super-nutritious.

Chef Ken Fornataro of Cultures.Group with Amy Kalafa

Amy Kalafa is a long-time advocate for sustainable food. Her award-winning film, Two Angry Moms created a media sensation and ignited a nationwide movement for better food in schools, resulting in food policy reform locally and nationally. Amy’s book, Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health (Tarcher-Penguin / Random House) was nominated for a Books for a Better Life Award.  She’s been a writer, producer and editor for Martha Stewart Living and Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italy PBS series and appeared as a guest chef on the PBS series Cultivating Life. Amy has an MBA in Sustainability. She is also a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and holds a Lectureship at the Yale School of Medicine and Psychiatry.

Co-Host Alexander Gunuey won a James Beard Award as Broadcast Producer for the PBS series Lidia’s Italy. He won an Emmy Award as Senior Editor for Martha Stewart Living and is acclaimed as the editor of A Tribute to Julia Child. Alex is a chef and a specialist in traditional French food preservation from confit and terrine to cornichon and confiture. At the invitation of the Obama’s chef Sam Katz, Alex visited the White House on behalf of Chefs Move to Schools along with Marcus Samuelson, Bea Smith and 1000 other American chefs.  Alex is a co-founder (with Amy Kalafa) of the east coast’s first Certified Organic poultry and game bird farm, Animal Farm. Their innovations in pasture ranging and herbal diets drove demand from Dean & Delucca, Anthony Bourdain, and numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City.


Dr Johnny Drain: researcher, fermenter and food designer. Master of microbes!

MOLD and/or creating tasty things from food waste

Johnny creates delicious things for the world’s best restaurants, bars, and food brands. He’s a world expert in fermentation, using it as a tool to amplify flavour, create new products and increase sustainability. He writes and speaks about the future of food and challenges in global food systems through his work with MOLD, a critically acclaimed editorial platform about designing the future of food.

Combining his PhD in Materials Science from Oxford and years of cooking experience, his clients and collaborators have included the Nordic Food Lab (established by Noma), the Argentinian Ministry of Agriculture, Mirazur (#1, World’s 50 Best 2019), and Dandelyan (#1, World’s 50 Best Bars 2018). He set up the Cub Cave in London to provide research and ferments for Cub, founded by drinks wizard Ryan Chetiyawardana, and zero-waste chef Douglas McMaster’s restaurant Silo, using innovative techniques to turn food waste and by-products into delicious things to eat and drink.

Exploring how to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050, MOLD works with next generation food brands, commissions products from emerging designers, and has run summits for Copenhagen’s TechFest. A visionary voice on the future of food, it was described by the New York Times as “one to watch” in a new generation of independent food magazines.


Darra Goldstein (Photo by Stefan)

Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore

The founding editor of Gastronomica, talks about her new cookbook, Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, and Russian practices of fermentation, which go back over a thousand years. Most people are familiar with lacto-fermented vegetables like dill pickles, sauerkraut, and salted mushrooms, but the Russians also ferment fruits like apples, watermelon, and tomatoes in a light brine that yields a beautiful wine-like flavor. Russians are perhaps most famous for kvass, a lightly fermented alcoholic drink most often made from stale black bread. It can also be made from fruits and vegetables. 

Dr. Darra Goldstein has spent much of the last four decades falling in love with Scandinavia; its people, its landscape, and most of all, its food. She is the founding editor of the James Beard Award-winning journal Gastronomica and a professor of Russian at Williams College. Goldstein has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including The Georgian Feast, which won the 1994 IACP Julia Child Award. She lives in Williamstown Massachusetts.


Living with Microbes

In the past century modern society has waged a speciesist war against bacteria, fungi and molds. Assuming the only good microbe is a dead one, we wiped them off our countertops, out of our soil and nearly purged them completely from our bodies. There are of course pathogenic germs and “good” microbes that have been used for millenia, but it is only recently that we have begun to appreciate what we have lost in terms of the pre-pasteurian food supply. Award winning historian Ken Albala will ramble on about bread, cheese, cured meat, pickles and answer any questions you have about the very unscientific approach to living with microbes. 

Dr. Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he teaches food history and the history of early modern Europe. He is also a Visiting Professor at Boston University, where he teaches an advanced food history course in the gastronomy program. He earned an M.A. in History from Yale University and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Professor Albala is the author or editor of 16 books on food. His four-volume Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia was published in 2011. He is also coeditor of the journal Food, Culture & Society and general editor of the series AltaMira Studies in Food and Gastronomy, for which he has written a textbook titled Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese, which won the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Foreign Cuisine Book in the World. In 2009, he won the Faye and Alex G. Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of the Pacific. Other books include Eating Right in the Renaissance; Food in Early Modern Europe; Cooking in Europe, 1250-1650; The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe; and the award-winning Beans: A History. He also coedited Food and Faith in Christian Culture and A Cultural History of Food in the Renaissance, among other books.nd co-authored “The Lost Art of Real Cooking” and “The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home.”


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Hops, Trees and Really Wild Ferments

Hops, Trees and Really Wild Ferments Session #3 – Times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • 8:00 to 8:30 PM – Chris Cuzme of Fifth Hammer Brewing
  • 8:30 to 9:00 – Chef Sean Doherty
  • 9:00 to 9:30 – Mallory O’Donnell

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Hops, Brewing and Fermenting

Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett of Fifth Hammer Brewing 

Listen and watch a uniquely talented brewer and fermenter, co-owner of Fifth Hammer Brewing Chris Cuzme of Fifth Hammer Brewing along with his equally brilliant brewing and fermenting partner Mary Izett. 

You can still get some of their amazing brews in Long Island City. And hopefully someday have another meeting with all the incredible fermenters and microbe wranglers that meet there only due to the generosity of The Fifth  Hammer Brewing team. Chris and Mary also host https://heritageradionetwork.org/series/fuhmentaboudit/ “Ferment About It! (Fuhmentaboudit!), aims to demystify the art of home fermentation with a primary focus on home brewing beer. Chris and Mary take listeners on a journey through fermentation, sharing history, practical methods, recipes and anecdotes from personal experience as well as from those of guest fermenters both amateur and pro.”


Thai Fermented meat called Naem (sour) using Beef and Fish


The Thai fermented meat preparation that Chef Sean Doherty will demonstrate is called Naem (sour). He will use both a beef tri tip and a filet of Cobia. This type of fermentation employs lactic acid bacteria so it’s essentially a “souring” taking place. The meat/fish are safely preserved by these (food safe)bacteria which is possible through precise ratio of salt combined with sticky rice plus fresh garlic. After the items are sufficiently fermented, they can be grilled, deep fried, etc., with no need to rinse off the cure. This only contributes to the flavor, becoming crispy and deeply satisfying. This is a relatively unknown method that could very well be the next “umami bomb”.aem (sour) using Beef and Fish. 

Chef Sean Doherty earned a Grande Diplome from the renowned Le Cordon Bleu program in 2004. Having worked with great chefs such as Larry Matthews Jr. at Back Bay Grill and Melissa Kelly at Primo, Sean was tapped by Harding Lee Smith to be the opening Chef of two of his successful restaurants: The Corner Room and The Oyster Room at Boone’s Fish House shortly after. Sean has spent the last ten+ years learning the ‘oldways and traditions of food preservation’ which includes fermentation, foraging, baking, and brewing; with a strong focus on Asian pathways (koji, miso, soy sauce, garum and vinegars). He now resides in Brunswick with his wife, two daughters, and countless culinary experiments. 



How to Ferment a Tree – Wild Food Fermentation with ingredients from the Trees – Flowers, Conifer Needles and Tips, Ornamental Flowers, Sap, and Syrup

Sauerkraut and kvass are two vegetable ferments that require a minimum of special equipment and Mallory O’Donnell is a wild food gatherer, cook, writer and teacher who focuses on sustainable and ethical ingredients. Many of the most abundant foods come from ornamental or invasive plants,  common garden weeds, and native or introduced trees. These ingredients not only tend to be the most nutritious but also are often the most culinarily intriguing. Items like the Japanese sansai taranome (collected from the invasive Aralia elata), the sap, flowers and leaves of the Norway Maple, and the flowers of ornamental quince, cherry and crabapple trees can and should be used by both enthusiastic amateurs and world-class chefs. When it comes to fermentation, these ingredients also excel, providing exciting flavors that can be added to conventional ferments as well as used to create unique original concoctions.


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Fermenting with Flowers, Fungus and Bacteria

Session #4 – Times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • 9:30 to 10 PM – Kirsten Shockey
  • 10:00 to 10:30PM – Alex Henao
  • 10 30 to 11 PM – Heidi Nestler 
  • 11:00 to 11:30 PM – Josh Hembree
  • 12 to 12:30 PM – Alex Lewin

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Flower Yeasts to make Alcohol and Vinegar

Kirsten to discuss how to make vinegar and alcohol from yeast collected from flowers.

Kirsten Shockey is an author, writer, educator and speaker who has co-authored 3 books including “Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments”, and two others that are available through the https://Ferment.Works website or any independent bookstore. They just started an online fermentation school at fermentation-school.thinkific.com . Their first course is out: “May Flowers bring June Brews. Learn to harvest wild yeast for delicious wild brews.” It includes 11 videos and a 20 page mini-book workbook. 

Ferment.Works Tempeh (look for the upcoming online class!)

How to preserve and add digestive value to foods using Koji products

Alex Henao is a chef by trade. Mostly self-taught, he is always striving to learn from new people, anyone willing to share and from unconventional sources. Over the past few years, Alex has been interested in the micro world around us we so unknowingly depend on, and the chemistry of bacterial and enzymatic fermentation. Mostly focused on preventing food waste, and promoting Indigenous type food systems emphasizing food sovereignty, local community farmers and keeping most food in the local markets, and of course broader trading of excess and regional specialties.


Making natto with soy and other beans

hoto by: @sandrinehahnperez

Natto truly is a superfood superstar.  Typically eaten as part of a traditional Japanese breakfast, natto is rich in Vitamin K2 and the enzyme nattokinase, which are important for bone and cardiovascular health.  Natto is also highly probiotic and has been used for centuries in Japan as a folk remedy for an upset stomach.  Heidi will show how she makes natto using soybeans and other beans.  Also she will share some recipe ideas- both traditional and more unexpected. 

Heidi Nestler is the owner of Wanpaku Natto and one of the organizers of the Portland Fermentation Festival, now in its 11th year.  She also teaches fermentation and cooking at the non-profit Quest Center for Integrative Health in Portland, Oregon. www.wanpakunatto.com


Sake, Sake Lees and Fermentation

A presentation on sake, sake lees and fermentation. 

Josh Hembree is an American sake brewer at Setting Sun Sake (www.settingsunsake.com)


Covid Cabbage and Confinement Kvass

Sauerkraut and kvass are two vegetable ferments that require a minimum of special equipment and ingredients. Sauerkraut is a great way to keep a vitamin- and enzyme-rich raw vegetable food for years, without the need for refrigeration. Kvass is a versatile fermented health tonic that can also be used as the basis for soups, as a cocktail mixer, and much more.

Alex Lewin is the author of “Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen” and the co-author of “Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond”.

Alex will demo sauerkraut and kvass, talk about ways to eat them, provide lots of context, connect the dots with the current challenges in the world, and answer any questions.

Seeking to remove barriers to home fermentation, he offers simple processes and recipes that are easy to execute in home kitchens, using as little special equipment as possible.

More generally, he seeks to create a healthier, tastier, and more just world by spreading the good news about fermentation and nutrient-dense real food. He leads fermentation classes and workshops in the US and abroad. He served on the opening board of the Boston Public Market, an indoor, year-round market selling only local food. He has also been involved with the Boston Fermentation Festival since the beginning.

He believes that applying high technology to food has caused many of the problems of the last hundred years, and that applying more high-tech may not help: part of the path forwards is a return to low-tech foodways. He lives in Cambridge, MA and Oakland, CA.


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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.