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Next Level Fermentation

from £245.00

Join our expert Rachel de Thample for hands-on day where you’ll take your fermenting skills to the next level.

If you’ve already mastered kimchi and kraut, attended our Ferment the Seasons and have dabbled with making fermented foods, Rachel de Thample’s Next Level Fermentation Course is the ideal way to up your repertoire of creating delicious gut-friendly foods. 

On this course, we’ll focus on making homemade miso featuring British-grown pulses, homemade apple cider vinegar, dairy kefir as well as plant-based alternatives, fermented cakes and other bakes (with plenty of gluten-free options) as well as traditional kimchi.

This is a hands-on day, which means you’ll go home laden with jars full of things you’ve made throughout the day and lunch on the day will feature further tasters of fermented fun. Beyond the making, you’ll also learn more about how beneficial bacteria in these ferments can not only transform your health but can transform your meals into unforgettable delights.


• Learn the science of fermentation as well as the health benefits

• Become a master at making traditional kimchi and seasonal variations

• Make your own miso, learning why fermenting grains and pulses are important for digestive


• Grain the skills to make your own apple cider vinegar and other homemade vinegars using foraged finds and scraps of fruit

• Dairy kefir as well as plant-based alternatives. Rachel will also show you how to transform your kefir into a delicious, raw and elegant cheese.

• Learn how to make fermented versions of your favourite cakes, bakes and an array of flatbreads from farinata to dosas – the benefit is better digestion and lower sugar, all while increasing flavour!

• Delicious two course lunch featuring ingredients grown in the River Cottage Kitchen Garden 

• Opportunity to wander around the farm and gather produce for your ferments. You’ll also learn how wild food and fermentation are the perfect partners

• A complimentary recipe pack featuring all the recipes you learned throughout the day as well as a signed copy of Rachel’s River Cottage Fermentation Handbook

  • Next Level Fermentation

    Brilliant course. Rachel was so passionate about fermentation. Her enthusiasm and knowledge were inspiring.

    Karen Attended 26 February 2023

    4.4 out of 5
  • Next Level Fermentation

    I really enjoyed my day at River Cottage again. Its my second visit and course with Rachel De Thample. She's so knowledgeable and and full of enthusiasm, it's contagious. Thank you for a fab day.

    Rosie Attended 12 November 2022

    5.0 out of 5

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Make yourself at home

    Arrive in the stunning River Cottage Cookery School to a taster of what’s come. A breakfast snack featuring some of the things you’ll be making throughout the day will be offered as Rachel talks you through the science of fermentation and how you can use fermented foods to boost gut health.

  • Session One

    In the morning you’ll learn why fermenting grains and pulses are important for digestive health. You’ll then learn how to ferment gluten-free flours to make nutritious breads such as buckwheat sourdough or a rye sourdough ginger cake with rhubarb or pears from our garden. You’ll learn about how fruit can energise your ferments and starter cultures.

  • Session Two

    This session is all about kimchi, diving deep into the history of one of the world’s most celebrated ferments. You’ll learn how to make traditional miso and seasonal variations.

    Rachel will also give you tonnes of inspiration on how to use kimchi to make spectacular, nutritionally enriched dishes.

  • Session Three

    Rachel will take you into the wonderful world of kefir (a fermented food with one of the most diverse offerings of beneficial bacteria). She’ll guide you through making your own dairy and water kefirs, as well as plant-based alternatives.

  • Lunch

    Lunch is always a decadent moment of pause in the busy day and features two courses made with ingredients grown in the River Cottage Kitchen Garden. You’ll also have an opportunity to wander around the farm before heading back into the kitchen. Lunch will feature a seasonal selection of different ferments from Rachel’s and the River Cottage larder.

  • Session Four

    After lunch, Rachel will show you how to make your own miso and you’ll be making your own version, using koji and local pulses such as Black Badger Peas. You’ll get to try different misos featuring unusual beans and pulses, as well as learn about how age affects the colour and flavour of miso.

  • Session Five

    We’ll then dive into how to make homemade apple cider (and other) vinegars featuring fruit scraps and local honey.

  • Session Six

    You’ll end the day with a fermented bake, which we’ll try alongside additional tasters. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask Rachel any questions you may have.

  • Departure

    Head up to the car park for 5pm with your recipe pack featuring all the recipes you learned throughout the day, as well as a signed copy of Rachel’s River Cottage Fermentation Handbook. You’ll also, of course, have a bundle of jars full of fabulous ferments to take 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.

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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