Rachel de Thample

Fermenting For Taste and Health

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $99

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

Course Description

Fermenting is one of the most ancient and most widely used food and drink preparation techniques there is. 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.

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.

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 from Rachel de Thample
    • 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

Learn better together

  • Online classroom

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson
  • Personal tuition

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors
  • Share

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

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.

Frequently bought as part of this collection

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    The River Cottage Cooking Diploma - Food & Drink

    The River Cottage Cooking Diploma

    Master the entire subject and SAVE 29% when you buy this collection

    12 Courses • 10 Expert Tutors

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ has long been a power-house of culinary ideology – a hub bringing together an inspiring and talented team who all share a commitment to seasonal and sustainable eating.

    "At River Cottage, we believe there are few things more important than education. And food! And so our aim is to teach and inspire you to grow, source and cook food in ways that enhance your life, increase your wellbeing and connect you more closely to the natural, sustainable and ethical sources of food.

    I believe that delicious, healthy food has never been more vital in helping us all to stay well during this global pandemic, and making those choices in a sustainable way makes the health of our planet a priority too. This opportunity to learn online in social groups provides a sense of togetherness and mutual support. It's not just a great way to learn, it's a great way to stay connected and foster a sense of shared endeavour in what could otherwise be a very isolating time in our lives."

    – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

    Who is the course for?

    Whether you want a career change, you're already working in the food or hospitality industry, or you are an enthusiastic amateur who'd like to gain a certificate, this course is suitable for all food enthusiasts.

    What you will learn

    Through this collection of 48 cookery lessons, Hugh and the team will demonstrate, teach and guide you through their specialist subjects, setting you assignments and offering feedback along the way.

    Our experts will demonstrate a range of skills including vegetable cookery, fish filleting, and shellfish preparation with a focus on ingredient provenance, sourcing and seasoning. From baking your own bread, sourdough and pastries to making your own pickles and kombucha, this course will delve deep into a wide range of useful kitchen skills. Forage for local delicacies, combine exotic spices with delicious home-grown and local ingredients, cook meat and veg in the wild with fire and go gluten free without compromising on flavour – this collection covers absolutely everything you need to know to be at the top of your cooking game.

    In order to gain the River Cottage Cooking Diploma with a signed certificate from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, you will need to complete all courses within the collection. However feel free also to pick and choose the areas that interest you if you simply want the pleasure of learning from the top chefs at River Cottage.

    Learn more

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