One of the main reasons we created our festivals (here and in San Diego, and soon in other cities!) is to educate people on the importance and joy of homemade fermented foods. As such, we curate an all-star lineup of experts and personalities who share their passion and expertise.

We’ve built an amazing lineup for this year’s Festival!

11:30 Fermented Foods, Your Microbiome and Your Health: How to Separate Truth from Hype
Discussion [Beginner]

Presenter: Kristina Campbell, MSc., The Well-Fed Microbiome Cookbook

Fermented foods are full of friendly bacteria that feed your gut and improve your health — or at least, that’s the story. How does the evidence really stack up? When scientists look at questions around fermented foods, what do they find?

Lately some exciting scientific findings have emerged about the microbiome, diet, and health. But in the popular media and many diet books, facts are woven in with exaggerations in a tangled web of “microbiome hype” that’s hard to unravel. This talk will cover what scientists really know about fermented foods, gut microbiota, and health, and how to spot the exaggerated claims so you can act on reliable information for better health.

11:30 Delicious Dairy Free Cheese in Under One Hour
Demo [Beginner] [Vegan]

Presenter: Claudia Lucero, Urban Cheesecraft

claudialuceroDid you quit cheese, or do you suspect you shouldn’t eat dairy because of a sensitivity? You don’t have to live without delicious cheese anymore. Though it has gotten easier to purchase dairy-free cheese especially in Portland, they don’t always taste like real food and they don’t work for all diets. Urban Cheesecraft makes it super easy and fun to make your custom flavor and ingredient dreams come true using real food. Use the seed or nut you prefer or even beans and veggies and then customize your cheese with delicious fermented foods like miso and sauerkraut for deep umami flavor. Come see how you can make custom, delicious dairy free cheese in under one hour!

12:00 The American Gut Project: A Citizen Science Approach to Unraveling the Mysteries of the Human Microbiome
Discussion [Beginner]

Presenter: Dr. Embriette Hyde, American Gut Project

This talk will provide an overview of the American Gut Project and focus on specific sub-cohorts of interest (i.e., fermented foods cohorts) as well as our results on studying how the general public feels about contributing to the science.


12:30 Effortless Cultured Cheese for Total Beginners

Presenter: Claudia Lucero, Urban Cheesecraft

Join Claudia from Urban Cheesecraft for the easiest cheesemaking class you’ll ever take! Learn to make super easy but addictively delicious cultured cheeses from both yogurt and milk kefir. Beautiful cream cheese, herb covered logs, adorable wheels or bites preserved in olive oil are all possible for beginners. Join us for a demonstration and samples.

1:00 Global FoodOmics: The Microbes and Small Molecules of Fermented Foods
Discussion [Intermediate]

Presenter: Dr. Julia Gauglitz, Global FoodOmics

The age old process of fermentation to preserve, alter and flavor foods is prevalent around the globe. About one third of all foods use a fermentative step during production, and the art of home fermentation has gained in popularity and media attention over the past decade. We are beginning to understand the molecular and microbial diversity of fermented foods using meta-omic analyses, and design studies to determine their potential health benefits. The Global FoodOmics project is pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and is building a publically available reference database for foods, including fermented dairy and vegetable products, beer, kombucha, etc. Come find out what it’s all about!

1:30 Kimchi For All Seasons
Demo [Beginner] [Vegan]

Presenter: Austin Durant, Fermenters Club

Ever have a kimchi kraving, but then you realize all the ingredients and steps necessary to make it and you get psyched out? In this demo, Austin will show you how to make various styles of kimchi, a popular Korean fermented vegetable recipe, based on each season. He will also show you some tips to prep kimchi ahead of time, enabling you to make (nearly) instant kimchi! Of course, you’ll still have to wait for it to ferment.

2:00 Pairing Mead and Food
Discussion [Beginner]

Presenter: Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor, Mead Maven Publishing, Kookoolan Meadery

Mead is the world’s oldest fermented beverage and the original craft brew. But what is it? Where did it originate? How do you drink it and serve it? What foods complement mead for serving at home? This presentation will make you an expert and will have you excited to introduce mead to your friends!

This discussion is for all food enthusiasts, whether you’re brand new to mead or if you produce your own honey at home!.

2:30 Natto: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Demo [Beginner] [Vegan]

Presenter: Heidi Nestler, Wanpaku Foods

Natto, a type of fermented soybeans, is known for its health benefits, uniquely sticky viscosity and (some would say) funky aroma. In Japan, natto is typically eaten for breakfast, but how else can you incorporate this superfood into your diet? Learn how- along with some natto lore, its importland health benefits and how to DIY it.


3:00 The Two-way Relationship Between your Microbiome and a Healthy Diet
Panel Discussion [Beginner]

Panel Speakers: Dr. Embriette Hyde, American Gut Project , Dr. Julia Gauglitz, UC San Diego, Kristina Campbell, MSc., The Well-Fed Microbiome Cookbook

Did you know that the makeup of your microbiome (your gut and all its microbial inhabitants) influences the benefits you get from your diet, and that your diet in turn actively shapes the microbiome’s composition? It’s a two-way street.

This panel discussion, featuring Dr. Embriette Hyde, Dr. Julia Gauglitz, and Kristina Campbell, MSc will address some basic questions about the human microbiome, how a healthy diet supports a healthy gut, and how fermented foods play a part in supporting health. This is your chance to ask questions to three of the thought leaders in microbiome science and research! Whether you’re perfectly healthy, or you suffer from a condition linked to gut dysbiosis, you’ll learn a lot from this discussion!


3:30 How to Fall in Love with Koji
Demo [Intermediate] [Vegan]

Presenter: Branden Byers, FermUp

Are you prepared for the most alluring aroma of all ferments? Many ferments stink. There is a delicious beauty in that fine line between fresh and rotten. The process of making koji doesn’t walk that line. Its ? really does smell like ?. But there is a catch; the only way you will ever smell this aroma is if you make your own koji at home. The koji sirens are calling you. Do you dare miss out?

Learn simple techniques for incubating koji (and tempeh) at home with a large cooler, water, aquarium heater, and pump. It isn’t foolproof, but it isn’t hard. Even if you’ve never fermented before, you can start with koji. The act of seducing Aspergillus oryzae (or Rhizopus oligosporus for tempeh) is different than most ferments. Once you learn these techniques, you can use your new found love for koji to make miso, soy sauce, amazake, or roast your koji and use it as a flavoring ingredient with crunch.

4:00 Brewing up a Business: Going Pro with Your Fermentation Hobby
Discussion [Intermediate]

Panelists: Jean-Pierre Parent, SOMA Kombucha Bars, Valerie Roth, Fire Brew, Leland Harmel, Rawkstar Creations, Rainbow Cloud; Moderated by Tim Gibson, SOMA

Hear about the creation of SOMA Kombucha/Jun, Fire Brew Tonics, Rawkstar Creations and Rainbow Cloud Kombucha, and other local fermentation businesses. They’ll talk about the basic process, pitfalls and things to look out for so you can get your domestic kitchen-based business up and running! Listen in as they swap stories and advice, and answer your burning business questions.


Emcee: Aaron Ross, Who’s The Ross?

Aaron Ross is the host of PDX’s weekly late-night talk show “WHO’S the ROSS?” which has logged 700+ performances in the past 9 years. He is also the host of the rock & roll children’s show “YOU WHO?!” and has performed at the SXSW & Pickathon Music Festivals each of the past 5 years.





Here are lineups from previous years: 2016 | 2015