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Seasonal Fermentation Workshop

from £155.00

Come and immerse yourself in the magical world of seasonal fermentation with our preserving guru and author of River Cottage Handbook No. 18, Rachel de Thample.

On the 4th and 10th December, our workshops will have a Christmassy twist as we welcome you for a day of Festive Fermentation! You'll still cover all of the listed topics, but you can expect some festive flavours and ingredients to complement your creations.

Our kitchens are full of magic just waiting to happen. One of the most exciting areas for us to experiment and explore is fermentation. It’s an incredible process transforming food into something that’s not only more nutritious but delicious, and something we’ve long embraced here at River Cottage. It’s one of the oldest ways of preserving, surprisingly simple, low tech and easy to get started. It’s also incredibly addictive – in a good way. You don’t need fancy kit – just a few simple guidelines as to how much, how long and how to keep things on track.

Join our fermenting guru and author of the forthcoming River Cottage Fermentation Handbook, Rachel de Thample, for a delicious day of discovering the ins and outs of this ancient practice. Learn how to make sauerkraut, lacto-fermented pickles, kimchi, kefir and kombucha as well as trying amazing tasters throughout the day. The course will be held in our iconic 18th century threshing barn in the courtyard at River Cottage HQ. You will leave inspired, deliciously full and with a bundle of things you have made on the day.

Like to learn more about the day? Read about our run-through for Rachel's workshop

"We thoroughly enjoyed the fermentation course last Sunday. Rachel was and always is extremely generous with her time. Her enthusiasm and passion for food and the subject always shows through and she always has so many great insights."

Imogen, 6th September 2020

Your day

10.30 - 16.00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You’ll begin your River Cottage experience with a 10-15 minute walk through the pathways down to the farm, enabling you to really soak up the views of the valley.

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your host, Rachel de Thample, and start the day with a delicious tasting of seasonal ferments, such as crumpets with a seasonal honey-fermented jam and cultured butter.

  • Introduction

    Rachel will then give you an overview of fermentation from the science and history to the benefits and how seasonality plays a part.

  • Practical session one

    Next, Rachel will introduce you to the basic elements of fermenting starting with a honey fermented marmalade.

  • Practical session two

    You'll make a delicious sauerkraut and a jar of lacto-fermented pickles to take home. Rachel will guide you through making kimchi and there’ll be lots of gorgeous tasters such as her ginger & miso-pickled carrots and oak-aged fermented beetroot ketchup.

  • Lunch

    Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare will be one of the highlights of your day, and of course we'll sneak in a few fermented goodies.

  • Practical session three

    Next you will tackle creating your own ginger beer starter as well as learning how to make kefir and kombucha with seasonal herbs and fruits from the River Cottage garden.

  • Tea

    The day will end with sweet fermented afternoon treats, like Rachel’s seasonal fruit sourdough buns.

  • Departure

    There will be time to chat to Rachel and your fellow scholars before heading back up the hill at 4pm with all your treats from the day.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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All prices include VAT.

Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018