Ferment the Seasons
Join our Fermentation guru Rachel de Thample and learn to transform seasonal ingredients into gut-friendly ferments.
Get to grips with gut-friendly ferments with fermentation expert Rachel de Thample. Learn to make a range of fermented produce, all with top quality seasonal ingredients.
The day will focus on the healthy end of fermenting starting with krauts and kimchis. The course will cover fermented batters like dosas and blinis, and touch on delicious fermented dairy. You will also discover how to ferment fruit and create sparkling good-for-you drinks like kombucha and kefir.
The day will cover all the techniques and basics you need to get started. It’ll be bursting full of hands-on making – you’ll leave with a stash of soon-to-be bubbling jars to take home, a recipe pack weighted with wisdom, a tongue-pleasing array of tasters and a guide to how you can apply your newly-found knowledge as the seasons ebb and flow.
If you'd like to take your fermentation skills even further, check out our more advanced course: Next Level Fermentation
10:00 - 17:00
Make yourself at home
You will meet your host and settle in with a tea or coffee in hand.
You’ll start the day with a breakfast taster featuring some of Rachel’s favourite ferments such as scrambled eggs on blinis with fermented mushroom pickles.
We’ll then get stuck right in learning how to ferment grains and dairy to make them more digestible. We’ll mix up a stunning batch of kombucha blinis and a kombucha crème fraiche which you can shake into butter.
Next we will dive into the world of lacto-fermentation as Rachel teaches you how to make your own sauerkraut and fun seasonal version of kimchi such as a springy beetroot and rhubarb or an autumnal curried parsnip kraut with pears from our orchard and garden herbs.
Fruit has so many fun options when it comes to fermentation and Rachel will guide you through her favourite fruit ferments including Japanese-style umboshi salt ferments featuring English hedgerow fruits. Embracing honey from our own bees, we’ll be making a honey-fermented jam.
Lunch will feature a smattering of some of Rachel’s favourite ferments such as pumpkin kimchi dumplings or oat-crumbed mackerel with honey-fermented rhubarb with thyme.
The afternoon will focus on healthy homemade drinks as Rachel shares her love for fermented tea – aka kombucha, introducing you to a honeyed version called ‘jun’. You’ll also learn how to make water kefir with key instructions on how to tailor basic brews into seasonal masterpieces. You’ll get to try Rachel’s brews with her season spins such as Marmalade kombucha and Rhubarb crème soda kefir.
There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before heading back up the hill for 5pm.
You’ll take home a copy of the River Cottage Handbook: Fermentation, the jars of kraut and kimchi you'll have made, as well as kombucha crème fraiche, honey-fermented jam and a kombucha scoby so you can get brewing at home.
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.
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.
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