I have been waiting for this week for what seems like months. Remember what it was like in the days leading up to your first day of school, the anticipation, the trepidation, the careful considering of fashion statements, the can't-quite-sleep-the-night-before kind of jitters that would make you tingle from head to toe? Well that's kind of how I feel about this coming weekend.
The good folks at The Light Cellar here in Calgary have organized what is shaping up to be a fantastic weekend, celebrating the world of friendly ferments with a festival, aptly titled Friendly Ferments Festival. Opening the festival is the premiere event named Bubbles 'n Brine on Friday night, with tasting and sampling of a variety of ferments with a presentation from the weekend's keynote speaker. There will also be a full day of activities, presentations and booths festival-style on the Saturday from 10 till 6, with exhibits, practical spots where you can get in on the action hands-on, allowing you to deepen your own connections to the magic that is fermenting. The organizers have managed to reign in one of North America's eminent authorities on the subject, Sandor Katz, a self-proclaimed Fermentation Revivalist who will be the keynote speaker at this coming weekend's festivities. (I heard a rumour it took about a year and a half of requesting and asking to get him to cement a date to come to town here to share his knowledge with the community.) Sandor Katz is the author behind the fermenting 'bibles' Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation. He will be offering a talk on Friday night on the cultural importance of fermenting, the flavour profiles that can be discovered, not to mention the health benefits of these superfoods. He will also be leading a workshop on culturing vegetables on the Saturday morning of the full day event, and ending the festival with a presentation on culturing dairy and its place in history. I had the pleasure of spending some time this past weekend with Malcolm Saunders of The Light Cellar. A video of our conversation is below, check it out!
I will be in attendance at the full weekend's festivities with my own booth for Good Food + You, so be sure to stop on by. My table will be the one-stop-ferment-spot where you will be invited to flavour your own homemade fermented soda sample to take home, in order to start you on your own fermenting journey.
Following this fabulous weekend of fermenty fun is a 10-part series of classes offered at The Light Cellar, meant to further deepen the knowledge gathered at the Friendly Ferments Festival and connect with local fermentors. These 10 classes are spread over five Thursday evenings, so 2 classes per night, with the first one offered on October 22nd. Yours truly will be leading the first class (eek!), a tasting and exploration of Beet Kvass and its many health benefits and easy ways to use in every day cooking.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FRIENDLY FERMENTS FESTIVAL: There aren't many tickets left. As the venue had to change due to a structural issue, tickets are now limited. Don't wait to get yours at the door, contact The Light Cellar directly or head to their shop on Bowness Road to get your tickets today. You can also purchase them online here. (The same link will give you the full details on the Friendly Ferments Festival, including ticket prices and venue information.) If you are planning to attend, know that there will be a food truck at the venue, but you may want to bring some of your own snacks or a small lunch with you on the Saturday.
AS FOR THE COMMUNITY CULTURE SERIES: I am very excited for this 5-night series, where two instructors per night will be offering classes on specific topics. I am so pleased to say that I will be at the first night of the series, talking about the earthy and delicious Beet Kvass. You can purchase tickets for individual evenings for $50 a night for two classes, or purchase a full 5-week/10-class pass for $149. My math skills tell me the best deal here is to free up your next five Thursdays in order to come learn about the magic of ferments and connect with those local folks who are at the forefront of this fermentation revival. For full details on the Series, head to this spot online.
I had the pleasure of spending my Sunday morning this past weekend with the lovely Malcolm Saunders of The Light Cellar. We chatted on my back deck (whilst the wind whipped up, and the crows came by!) about all good things fermenting and the upcoming festival.
For those interested in delving more into our conversation, there is a longer version of it where we touch on the industrialization of our food systems, and the effects it has had on the quality of our nutrients; we also go into more detail about the upcoming festival. Find the full interview here.
THE BEST PART ABOUT ALL OF THIS: Malcolm and I are teaming up to give ALL SUBSCRIBERS to the Good Food + You newsletter a chance to get in on the fermenting action. We are offering one lucky subscriber a pass to attend all 10 classes in the Community Culture Series! All you need to do to get your name in the ballot box is to sign up for my newsletter here on the homepage, if you haven't done it already. The giveaway is open only to those who live within the Calgary area, for obvious reasons. The Giveaway Opportunity will be open until 12 midnight this coming Wednesday, October 14th. I will announce the winner on my blog this Thursday. Spread the word about this fantastic opportunity! Hit the 'share' button below, and send along to someone you think would dig this kind of opportunity, or someone who could benefit from delving deeper into the world of fermenty fun.
As I type this up, our Canadian Thanksgiving Monday is coming to a close. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you my dear follower/reader/friend for encouraging me in this new business venture over this past year, and for connecting with me be it through classes, presentations, or one-on-one consults. I am grateful for your support as I jump into this big world of nutrition. #gratefulheart