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Noma-Inspired Fermentation Masterclass

On Saturday 13th May, David Zilber and Rachel de Thample will host a day of hands-on fermentation in the River Cottage Cookery School and the outdoor cookery area.

Former Head of Fermentation at Noma, chef, food scientist and co-author of The Noma Guide to Fermentation is coming to River Cottage this spring!

Join the cutting-edge fermentation expert who will team up with our own Rachel de Thample for a hands-on day creating Noma-inspired ferments. You’ll spend half the day with David learning how to make koji (a fungus-inoculated grain used to make numerous Japanese ferments). You’ll then use koji to make David’s famous Pea-so (miso using local peas). David will also guide you through making his kimchi and garden-inspired pickles.

Rachel toured the Noma Fermentation Lab last summer and her session is inspired by her visit. She’ll guide you through making black garlic, then turning the skins into a rich balsamic-like vinegar. She’ll also show you how to turn other fruits and vegetables into umami-rich, slow fermented wonders. You'll also learn how to make mead with seasonal fruit, flowers and herbs (such as meadowsweet and rhubarb), as well as sourdough scones made with sprouted heritage grains.

This is a hands-on day, which means you’ll go home laden with jars full of things you’ve made throughout the course. Lunch on the day will feature further tasters of fermented fun. Beyond the making, you’ll also gain a deeper insight into the science behind your fermented goodies and how to use them in recipes.

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Make yourself at home

    Arrive in the River Cottage Cookery School to a taster of what’s come; enjoy a breakfast snack featuring unique ferments as you meet David Zilber and Rachel de Thample before starting the day.

  • Session One

    You’ll learn all about koji before making your own miso to take home.

  • Session Two

    Using produce straight from the River Cottage Kitchen Garden, David will guide you through making kimchi, his way.

  • Session Three

    David will guide you through making a seasonal lacto-fermented pickle while telling you about his adventures in fermentation and the science of this process.

  • Lunch

    Lunch is always a decadent moment of pause in the busy day and features two courses made with ingredients from the River Cottage gardens. Lunch will incorporate unusual ferments from David and Rachel’s own larders too!

  • Session Four

    After lunch, Rachel will guide you through making black garlic, as well as other ferments using the same technique.

  • Session Five

    You’ll make a homemade honey wine (mead) featuring seasonal herbs, flowers and fruit, which you can take home to age.

  • Session Six

    Rachel will teach you a unique take on making a sourdough starter with sprouted heritage grains, before showing you how to turn it into delicious bakes such as cakes and scones.

  • Departure

    Your day will come to an end around 4:30pm, ready for you to head up to the car park for 5pm with your recipe pack and bundle of jars full of fabulous ferments in hand to take home.

    You’ll also have the opportunity to ask David and Rachel questions and buy signed copies of their books before you head off.

  • About David Zilber

    A professional chef, fermenter, food scientist and award-winning author from Toronto, Canada. He has worked in some of the world’s top kitchens since 2004, most notably serving as the director of the world renown Fermentation Lab at Restaurant Noma from 2016-2020. In his time there, he authored the New York Times bestseller, The Noma Guide to Fermentation, and became a voice for science communication for a new generation of cooks and enthusiasts in the world of food and fermentation.

  • About Rachel de Thample

    An award-winning author who has worked in food, health and sustainability for more than 20 years. She teaches fermentation and seasonal nutrition courses, served as Course Director of the College of Naturopathic Medicine’s Natural Chef diploma course, was the Head of Food for organic retailer Abel & Cole, and Commissioning Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated. She’s written 6 books including the River Cottage Fermentation Handbook, which won a Guild of Food Writer’s Award.

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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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