Rachel de Thample

Fermenting For Taste and Health

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

River Cottage's Rachel de Thample teaches you how to use fermenting to create your own fermented food and drink.

Fermenting is one of the most ancient and most widely used food and drink preparation techniques. If you love the tangy, savoury tang of sauerkraut, flavours of fermented veg, the delicate fizz of kombucha, the invigorating kick of kimchi, the delicate fizz of kombucha or the soothing calm of kefir, this is the course for you.

Fermentation is a transformative process that makes food not only more nutritious but also more delicious. By eating natural, whole and live foods, we can boost the profile of our healthy gut bacteria.

During this course you will be taken on a culinary adventure into the many realms of fermenting, exploring an array of krauts, kombuchas and lacto-fermented delicacies. By the end of the journey you will have your shelves lined with happy bubbling ferments and your fridge stocked with irresistible, meal-enhancing delights.

Rachel will share skills and secrets gleaned from many years experimenting in her own kitchen and at River Cottage, enhanced by the inspiration and creativity of a host of fellow fermenters.

You’ll learn all you need to know to get started, master the basics and branch out creatively into new avenues.

You'll learn:

  • the science of fermenting
  • recipes for kraut, kombucha, kefir and lacto-fermentation
  • seasonal variations for ferments
  • how to make a scoby living culture

The course includes:

  • 4 on-demand video lessons - presented by Rachel de Thample and River Cottage
  • lifetime access to the videos, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical fermenting assignments and recipes (with tutor feedback available)
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom - chat online to students from around the world and share your creative ideas

Independent Cookery Schools Association approved

This course has been approved by the Independent Cookery Schools Association (ICSA), recognising the highest standards of training.

Time to complete the fermenting course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 15 hours 20 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 3 hours 20 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Your gut health recipe assignments: at least 2 hours per lesson
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes per lesson
  • Tutor feedback review (Expert level): 15 minutes per lesson

You'll need:

Your lesson notes will include the full details of the ingredients you'll need, but you will be making fermented food and drinks, so you'll need standard kitchen equipment.

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Rachel on your fermenting assignments.

If you know someone who'd love this course then give it as a gift - just tick "This is a gift" at the checkout.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

CPD Accreditation

Course activity has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO). The course equates to 15 hours, 20 minutes of CPD learning.
The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

Course outline

  • Kraut

    ‘Fermentation’ describes the chemical conversion of sugars to alcohols or acids. During this lesson you learn the basics and touch on the science behind this ancient art. Rachel will show you the endless possibilities offered by kraut, including seasonal recipes, and by the end of the lesson you will have created a simple but delicious red cabbage kraut, dandelion krautchi and a phenomenal curried carrot kraut. While these krauts are completely delicious straight from the jar, you can also employ them as brilliant ingredients to transform your cooking. Rachel will show you how to whip up some gorgeous delights such as dandelion krautchi potato cakes.

  • Lacto-Fermentation

    Lacto-fermentation is the process that produces traditional dill pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut amongst other fermented delights. Rachel builds on the same simple fermentation process that you learned in lesson one by teaching you about 4% brines and the difference between kraut and kimchi. You will learn how to make two types of kimchi, including a smoky beetroot number, as well as some garden-inspired carrot & lovage pickles. Embracing the rich and flavourful brine from these piquant ferments, she shows you how to make the most of every drop turning her hand to a bit of cocktail mixology – transforming kimchi and pickle brines into the most incredible Blood Marys we’ve ever tried.

  • Kombucha

    A scoby is the living culture containing beneficial bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha. Learn how to make your own scoby, and follow Rachel’s simple steps as she demonstrates how to create seasonal variations on your basic kombucha using fruit and herbs from the garden. By the end of this lesson you will have learned a whole host of recipes featuring kombucha, including a kombucha-fermented pickles and a brilliantly simple kombucha salad dressing.

  • Kefir

    Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink originally from the mountainous region that divides Asia and Europe. Learn all the basics, including how to obtain kefir grains, quantities, brewing times and storage. Rachel will also teach you how to infuse your delicious brews with seasonal flavours. Once you’ve mastered the brewing techniques for both dairy and water kefir, you’ll be ready to use these nourishing drinks to create other healthy recipes including kefir-fermented blinis.

Its given me a huge boost, and a lot more knowledge - I'm so glad I took part.


Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Rachel de Thample

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Rachel de Thample
    • Certificate of completion and CPD hours
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Buy this course for a business or group

You can now buy this course through your business or organisation for individuals and groups up to 20

Food & Drink classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Rachel de Thample

Rachel de Thample - Food & Drink
Rachel de Thample has worked in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gordon.

She is the author of Less Meat, More Veg, FIVE and Teas & Tonics. She and has served as Commissioning Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated, Head of Food for the pioneering organic box scheme Abel & Cole and as the Course Director of the College of Naturopathic Medicine’s Natural Chef diploma course. She has helped set up numerous local food initiatives, including the award-winning Crystal Palace Food Market.

Rachel teaches the River Cottage preserves and fermentation courses. Her latest book is the best-selling River Cottage Fermentation Handbook.

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Awards & Accreditations

  • Royal Horticultural Society - Approved Centre 2023-2024
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Digital Health and Wellbeing Learning Product of the Year
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Adult Home Learning Product of the Year