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Fermentation Masterclass with Sandor Katz and Rachel de Thample

Dive deep into the wonders of fermentation with two of the world’s top fermentation experts – the one and only Sandor Katz and River Cottage’s award-winning Fermentation book author Rachel de Thample.

Fermented foods are packed with health boosting bacteria as well as tantalising flavours. Sandor Katz, the revered ‘godfather of fermentation’ and author of bestselling books ‘Wild Fermentation’ and ‘The Art Of Fermentation’ is coming to River Cottage to share his global fermentation knowledge gleaned from curating his latest book ‘Fermentation Journeys: Recipes, Techniques & Traditions from Around the Word’. He’ll be joining our own fermentation expert and award-winning Fermentation author Rachel de Thample to teach a day-long masterclass exploring the many dimensions of this most fascinating ways to preserve and prepare foods.

Over the course of this unforgettable day, you will learn a vast variety of different fermentation techniques from classic sauerkraut with River Cottage garden-inspired twists, to far-flung indigenous fermentation recipes with modern twists. You will learn the science behind these ancient techniques as well as some highly practical recipes to help you put these skills in to practice in your own kitchen.

You will leave bubbling with inspiration from around the globe, and the confidence to make your own fabulous ferments at home, all infused with the River Cottage values of Seasonal, Local, Organic and Wild –which also happens to be what the best fermentation recipes are all about.


- You'll spend the day in beautiful setting with two of the world’s top fermentation experts

-You'll have lots of opportunity to ask Sandor and Rachel questions about your own fermentation projects

- Learn how fermentation both transforms the flavour of food, and offers incredible health benefits

- Be guided through making pickles and ferments inspired by Sandor’s recent travels for his new book ‘Fermentation Journeys’

- Rachel will take you into the River Cottage kitchen garden to gather ingredients to make a ferment which you’ll be taking home.

- You’ll learn how to make a simple fermented cheese and a fermented bread to take home

- You’ll get to taste an array of different ferments made by Rachel and Sandor – at different stages of maturation which will help you better understand the aging process of different ferments

- You’ll get a signed copy of both Rachel’s award-winning ‘River Cottage Fermentation Handbook’ and Sandor’s new ‘Fermentation Journey’s’

- You’ll have a delicious two-course lunch featuring produce grown on the farm, all cooked by our talented team of chefs

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Make yourself at home

    Meet your hosts Sandor Katz and Rachel de Thample for an overview of the day and tasters of fermented foods (including a fermented hot chocolate made with herbs from the River Cottage garden) to start your day.

  • Session One

    Half the group will start the day with Sandor in our famous cookery school, while the other half will follow Rachel into the wood-fired yurt.

    Each group will spend the morning learn a variety of fermentation techniques including cheese, bread and vegetables– many featuring ingredients from the River Cottage kitchen garden.

  • Session Two

    Your adventure continues with hands-on making of ferments that you can take home at the end of the day.

  • Lunch

    You’ll be treated to a delicious two-course seasonal lunch made with produce from the farm and bowls of Rachel and Sandor’s favourite ferments (pickles, krauts and more).

  • Session Three

    After lunch you’ll swap over, spending the afternoon with Rachel in the yurt if you were with Sandor in the morning or with Sandor in the cookery school if you were with Rachel in the morning. The afternoon will include tasters and demonstrations followed by hand-on making.

  • Session Four

    You’ll create more delicious ferments to take home and nurture. At the end of the day there’ll be an opportunity to ask both Rachel and Sandor lots of questions.

  • Departure

    There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars, pack up all your goodies and get your complimentary books signed before heading back up the hill for 5pm.

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