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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 more advanced course, you’ll learn how to transform British-grown pulses into homemade miso, local honey into mead, apple scraps into apple cider vinegar, cream into cultured butter and nuts into a healthy vegan-friendly cheese.

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

• You’ll learn why fermenting grains and pulses are important for digestive health

• Make your own miso

• Ferment local grains to make delicious, easy-to-digest gluten-free sourdough breads

• Learn how to make fermented dips and soups, such as a lacto-fermented gazpacho or fermented broad bean houmous

• Create a vegan cheese using fermented nuts and learn how to make dairy kefir

• Make a umboshi style Japanese ferment using local, seasonal fruit such as damsons and rhubarb. When in season, we’ll turn hedgerow finds into olive alternatives

• 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

• Create seasonal fruit mead as well as homemade vinegar featuring fruit scraps and local honey

• 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 taking fruit and veg ferments to the next level. You’ll make a wonderful kimchi with a seasonal River Cottage Kitchen Garden twist as well as an incredible Japanese inspired ferment similar to umboshi. You’ll also learn how to make fermented dips, soups and condiments, such as fermented hawthorn and rosehip ketchup.

  • Session Three

    Rachel will talk you through the benefits of fermenting dairy and nuts – for both taste and health. Then, you’ll make a vegan cheese using fermented nuts and seeds. In this session, you’ll learn all about the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, and how you can get a healthy balance in your diet.

  • 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 move into fermented drinks and tonics, making a seasonal fruit mead as well as homemade vinegar featuring fruit scraps and local honey.

  • Session Six

    At the end of the day, you’ll be cooking your fermented buckwheat batter to make little blinis, which we’ll try with 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