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Sandor Katz + David Zilber: Fermentation as Practice and Metaphor

This talk is part 2 of Conversations in Environmental and Social Justice, a series of lectures that opens a space to discuss ecology, plants and food, at the intersection of social and environmental justice.

Two major figures of the fermentation world discuss their work, experiences and thoughts on fermentation and how it fits in the current social, cultural, political and environmental moment. The theme is inspired by Sandor Ellix Katz’s latest book “Fermentation as Metaphor”.

Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His latest book is Fermentation as Metaphor, which explores wider meanings and ramifications of fermentation. His books Wild Fermentation and the Art of Fermentation, along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” Sandor is the recipient of a James Beard award and other honors. For more information, check out his website www.wildfermentation.com

David Zilber is a professional chef, fermenter, butcher and photographer who hails from Toronto Canada. He has worked in some of the world’s top kitchens since 2004. He served as the director of the world renown Fermentation Lab at Restaurant Noma from 2016-2020 and has become an expert on the sluggish use of bacteria to transform foodstuffs into bold new ingredients. In his time there, he authored the New York Times Bestseller, The Noma Guide to Fermentation, and with his deep love and passion for the sciences as well as the arts, he has become a voice for science communication for a new generation of cooks and enthusiasts in the world of food and fermentation. His joy for sharing the knowledge he has accrued over the years has led him to teach classes and give university lectures at the likes of Harvard, Cambridge and the University of Gastronomic Sciences on fermentation and the human microbiome.  He currently works from Copenhagen as a researcher and application scientist for Christian Hansen, striving to build a more sustainable global food system with the help of microbes, trekking ever onward on the frontiers of flavour and innovation.

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