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festival speakers series

The 2018 Speaker Series will include a fabulous roster of fermentation experts like brewers, entrepreneurs, social justice focused fermenters & cutting edge fermentation enthusiasts. Please join us in the Trustees Kitchen at Boston Public Market Kitchen - each talk begins on the hour. 

Make sure to check out the 2017 Speaker Series youtube videos to give you a short preview for 2018!

2018 schedule

speakers will start on the hour

10-11am  Foment/Ferment: Lightning Round on Social Justice & Fermentation with Ihsan Karayazi &

             Armine Avetisyan, Kristina Nies & Cheryl Paswater

11-12pm  Dosa making Demo with Leda Scheintaub ​ ​ ​ ​

12-1pm   The Fermentation Revolution is Speeding Up with Pia M. Sörensen, Marcos Sanchez, Sergio Florez,

             Chris DaCunha and Sam Hiersteiner ​

1-2pm    Is Natto the next big thing? With Ann Yonetani

2-3pm    Miso Making with Cheryl Paswater​ ​ ​ ​

3-4pm    Mashing the Patriarchy: Women Who Ferment Beer! With Brienne Allen, Maureen Fabry,

             Jessica Alexander, Lauren Clark, and Andrea Shea

10am    Foment/Ferment: Lightning Round on Social Justice & Fermentation

The theme of our *first ever* Boston Fermentation Fest lightning round  is Social Justice & Fermentation. Come to this talk and listen to creative & concise presentations from a few different folks on the intersection of justice, food, politics and fermentation. Each presenter will be given 8 minutes to present and they will be lightning fast, interesting and [we promise!] thought provoking. Who will our presenters be?

  • Ihsan Karayazi & Armine Avetisyan will tell the story of Agunik, an Armenian woman who visits Kars, a small city on the eastern border of Turkey, and wants to make sure that she brings back home a particular kind of cheese yeast known as Sirden (rennet). Driven from Agunik’s passion to find this particular local yeast, the presentation will talk about disconnection from historic homeland in the context of the Armenian-Turkish conflict and an attempt to restore the connection and memory through yeast.

  • Kristina Nies will advocate how radical food social justice must include a safe place at the table for all. It is not enough to redistribute unwanted food, people deserve the right to eat the foods that they want to eat. Everyone should have access to foods that are delicious, meaningful, part of their culture(s), and safe.

  • Cheryl Paswater will connect the dots between Food, Fermentation, Feminism & Food Deserts specifically in the context of New York City. 

11am    Dosa making Demo with Leda Scheintaub

Join Leda Scheintaub, co-owner of Dosa Kitchen in Brattleboro, Vermont, for a demo on dosas, the iconic fermented rice and lentil crepes of South India. She’ll take you step by step through the master dosa recipe from her cookbook, Dosa Kitchen: sourcing ingredients, soaking the rice and lentils, grinding them into a batter, fermenting, then making dosas of various shapes, sizes and colors for you to sample. At the end of the demo, the winner of a free raffle will take home a fresh batch of batter to ferment and make into dosas. 

Leda is the co-owner of Dosa Kitchen. She trained as a chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York and is a recipe tester, editor, and writer. She is the author of Dosa Kitchen and Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen and has contributed to many other titles.

12pm  The Fermentation Revolution is Speeding Up

Researchers, chefs, entrepreneurs sound off on new understanding, new advances, new energy. Panel moderated by Sam Hiersteiner, local Boston food writer, Boston Globe correspondent and fermentation enthusiast, and will include:

  • Pia M. Sörensen: Pia co-teaches and manages the General Education course Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science at Harvard University, which explores how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in chemistry and physics. She serves as lead course developer and co-instructor of Science & CookingX, an online version of the college course and one of the largest courses on Edx. Sörensen's interest in small molecules and fermentation led her to design a novel, project-based course: Flavor Molecules of Food Fermentation: Exploration and Inquiry. The course is unique in that it uses food fermentations as a way to explore not only microbial communities and characterization, but also metabolism and chemical properties and characterization of the small molecules that contribute taste and aroma in fermented foods.

  • Marcos Sanchez: Chef de Cuisine at Tasting Counter in Somerville and passionate fermentation experimenter

  • Sergio Florez: Fermentation Engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks 

  • Chris DaCunha, Director of Bioprocess Development at Indigo Agriculture. Chris is an avid fermentation enthusiast who also happens to ferment things professionally. At Indigo he leads the Bioprocess Development team using fermentation technology to grow up large quantities of beneficial fungi and bacteria that are used by farmers to restore a healthy endophytic microbiome to crop plants.

1pm   Is Natto the next big thing?

NYrture Food sure thinks so. Natto is a traditional Japanese fermented soybean delicacy which is also probiotic and full of Vitamin K2 and natural blood-thinning nattokinase enzymes. Dr. Yonetani will talk about the cultural history, fermentation science, American agricultural connections, amazing health benefits & modern culinary versatility of this deliciously unique superfood.

NYrture Food was founded by Ann Yonetani, a microbiologist with life-long passions for both food and science. NYrture Food is committed to creating fresh, honest food with probiotic power and of the highest quality. We believe that nurturing our microbiome is a vital part of the recipe for optimal health. We are also committed to providing credible, evidence-based educational information about the microbiome and the utility of probiotic foods. As a professor at the New School university in New York, she teaches about the intersection of these two worlds in the Food Studies department. Before becoming a natto maker, Ann worked for over 15 years as a biomedical research scientist in labs at Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, UCSF, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Basel Biozentrum. Along the way, she also enjoyed cooking in restaurants and soup kitchens in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston. She received her BA in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, MS in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco, and PhD in Microbiology from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

2pm   Miso Making with Cheryl Paswater

In this short class we will cover the basic science behind making miso, why it is good for you and how to make it yourself. Miso is a traditional Japanese product produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus Aspergillus oryzae called Koji. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in Japan. We will cover soy miso and non soy misos like nut misos in this class. Cheryl will also touch on creative uses for miso beyond simply miso soup!

Cheryl Paswater is an Certified Fermentationist, Educator, and Health Coach, who after a near-death experience, turned to holistic medicine for help. After radical diet and lifestyle changes, she started teaching on fermentation, old world food preservation, healthy eating, sustainable food, and holistic health. Cheryl runs a popular fermentation project and CSA called Contraband Ferments. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.  

3pm     Mashing the Patriarchy: Women Who Ferment Beer!

The brewing of beer -- one of the oldest and most universal forms of fermentation -- has long been the domain of men. But some of the earliest beer makers were women -- in ancient Egypt, where it was a sacramental drink made to accompany Pharaoh into the afterlife; in household kitchens, where females fermented beer as part of their daily routines. These days an increasing number of women are bringing their perspectives to the ongoing craft beer boom -- in the brew house, behind the bar, in the lab, in scholarship and in print. This panel will introduce audiences to the following pioneers:

  • Brienne Allen, brewer at Notch in Salem and head of the Pink Boots Society chapter of Boston (Pink Boots, an international non-profit, supports women in the beer industry)

  • Maureen Fabry, brewer and co-owner of CraftRoots Brewing in Milford, the first all-female owned brewery in Massachusetts and board member for the Mass Brewers Guild

  • Jessica Alexander, PhD, microbiologist at Lamplighter Brewing Co. in Cambridge

  • Lauren Clark, freelance journalist, former bartender & brewer, and author of Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to Modern Day

  • Moderator: WBUR arts & culture reporter Andrea Shea, a former brewer who continues to track and appreciate the evolution of the craft beer industry. Read a recent fabulous WBUR story on women in the beer industry by Andrea HERE

2017 panel
Jeffrey R
Alex & Raquel
author photo.jpg
David Shacks
lauren clark.jpg
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