Writings end and ferments for sale at Northside Produce Market in North Sydney

These are the pages proofs of my very recently completed manuscript, for publication by Murdoch Books this September in Australia and October in the UK. Writing or rather the endless editing process, is at an end and it is now far away in China being printed. I could not be happier with what you can not yet see and I so hope you will be too. The images shot by the very talented Ben Dearnley are fabulous. It is packed with all you need to know; for successfully capturing and employing a wide range of the worlds ever present preservationist microbes. It is my wish that it inspire, inform and delight you all and that it travels the globe in search of homes where fermented foods may be enjoyed and perform their valuable work.

Since I am no longer consumed by writing I have joined the ranks of market stall holders at The Northside Produce Markets, in North Sydney. Click here for the Upcoming dates, at which my products can be found for sale. Yolande Gray is selling for me on June 3rd and 17th beside her Dishrag Linen stall while I visit my family in London. I will be back to sell there in person the third Saturday of the month from July 15th; on my return from the UK.  I have made a range of hand cut, wild fermented condiments including krauts and pickles to delight and excite your taste buds and make your digestion sing. I recommend you get in quick if a good Indian lime pickle is of interest. The recipes for most of the products for sale, including that one will be found in my book Ferment- A guide to the ancient art of culurting foods, when it is released this September. Be sure to pick up an  invitation to the launch at the market, more on that in future posts.

Here are 4 useful things to know, when giving a home to fermented foods.

1. When a ferment is culturing in the first few weeks it is a good idea to stand it on a plate to catch any possible leakage.

2. Bringing a ferment to warm room temperature is likely to restart fermentation and the product may appear to boil. Open the jar to release any excess gases and then close tightly and store in the fridge where fermentation will slow right down, with no harm done.

3. When using your fermented foods be sure to push what remains in the jar down, to keep it submerged in its own liquid, to protect it from potential spoilers and keep the jar above the product clean for the same reason.

4. A little white mould will do no harm and can easily be scooped away so you can consume the remainder but if you find a bright mould on the mix this means you need to discard the lot.

 

 

 


Book, book, look & book!

6b

I am keeping this very brief and oh so simple… if anything here is of further interest please click to look & book! You can find the recipe for the warm apples with maple walnut caramel, seen above, at the bottom of this post. Photo ©HollyDavis

Please join me to celebrate the launch of Jude Blereau’s latest book ‘Wholefood From The Ground Up’ on June 25th Afternoon tea by Jude is well worth getting to, I promise and there will be signed copies available, it’s a seminal work and her best yet look&book

You may have seen my recipe testing images on instagram. All things fermented and oh so many loaves, cakes and cultures fill my home just now. My next book deadline is nigh and so, I have been head down, with very little time for anything much else. I will however, be teaching the classes mentioned below later this month; alongside my dear friend and colleague the wonderful Jude Blereau.

Jude is here from WA to launch Wholefood From The Ground Up and to teach, with me. We bring a vast body of our shared knowledge and experience to classes and aim to provide the nuances of our differing specific interests. Mine for where ferments fit our daily lives and Jude’s in the area of  wholesome sweetness and baking.  We are teaching three classes together, in Leichhardt at Wild Kombucha by Ballsey’s fabulous Collabratory Kitchen, Thursday 23rd has sold out but there are spaces in Wednesday  22nd’s ‘Meals for everyday and surviving the busy days’ evening class and in our ‘Low slow and at a simmer’ class on Sunday 26th which explores easy ways to slow cook delicious meals to suit the colder weather finally upon us look&book 

This warm and wintery recipe for the ‘apples with maple walnut caramel’ can be found here , it would make a lovely addition to a long weekend; in celebration of the queen’s birthday.


Breathing in spring in Japan – eating celeriac in Sydney

16928107658_c9635c5e2e_cThirty four years ago I spent nine months living in Tokyo. I consider that this has had the greatest and most lasting influence on my life, how I cook and how I treat food. I studied macrobiotic cooking in Tokyo and revelled in all aspects of their exquisite culture. Tomorrow I shall return to Japan, just in time to celebrate with millions, the first day of spring and the start of the cherry blossom season. Whilst I will be essentially on ‘holiday’ no chef is ever truly at rest; with every bite I eat, every ingredient I glimpse and each waft of a scent that wanders my way  I will be looking for, what is ancient and what breaks new ground; to inspire who knows what creations to come? I have a very special interest in Japan’s many ways with fermentation and I will returning with whatever I can, to put to good use in the book I am writing on this topic.

Fair warning my Instagram followers, bountiful blossoms and drunken daikon in barrels a plenty, will be coming your way.

When I return I will be head down and into the book, except for a quick trip to teach in Perth in early May. Inspired, as I expect to be, I have included a workshop for making ferments that fit everyday life and of course, a couple of Japanese cooking classes, I am also running a two day workshop for how to cook for the intolerant at your table, this is sadly become the norm at so many tables. I have just added the details of these classes to the online booking page here. These are classes hosted by my compatriot and dear friend, Jude Blereau of Wholefood Cooking and all bookings can be made through her.

I will keep a diary whilst I travel and make note of anything I think you might just love, I hope to see you here or there anon.

I’m rushing but before I go, here is a very quick pickle recipe, that if you don’t already know, you might just love? It is celeriac season in Sydney, they are coming in as large as your head. You can cook them in many ways and they are divine but you might try this, peel them carefully (then make a cut, to create a flat area to sit it on its side, so it can’t roll) slice in thin roundish disks, sprinkle with sea salt, a little lemon zest and some pepper, rub those in and leave to sit an hour or a few, use these now flexible, crispy disks, as a wrap or as a platform or vehicle to transport a delicious topping or two.

 


Everyday fermentation, easy sourdough classes February 28 & a cultured dinner, in Newcastle February 26

FEBRUARY 28TH HOSTED BY REAL FOOD PROJECTS

EVERYDAY FERMENTATION, INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS CLICK HERE

EASY SOURDOUGH, INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS CLICK HERE

The new year has consumed me and my focus is on writing and research, for the book I have been longing to write. This project is well underway now and my love and fascination for all things a bubble continues to grow. My friend and oh so competent creator of all good projects, Kate Walsh of Real Food Projects is hosting a range of fabulous classes, two of which I will be teaching, follow the links above. I hope to see you there and pass along what I know; to make these wonderful foods and easy option for you, everyday

Centre top row and second row lefthand images above ©SamanthaMackie other ©HollyDavis

Zucchini flowers Campo Di Fiori

FEBRUARY 26TH I AM CO HOSTING A LOCAL SEASONAL DINNER, SHOWCASING CULTURED FOODS AND DRINKS WITH IMBIBE WATER KEFIR AND ESTABAR

AT ESTABAR IN NEWCASTLE

FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO BOOK CALL BEC 0412 130 120 or POP INTO ESTABAR

Bec Bowie, who runs Newcastle’s charming and delectable cafe Estabar, Felicity Evans, creator of Imbibe Water Kefir range and I, have hatched a plan for a night of feasting and learning about things that taste delicious and go pop! My menu plays host to a range of delightful ferment as small accents in the meal. We will be sourcing local in season produce for the night and will be able to tell you where your dinner was grown. Felicity has chosen several of her delicious water kefir flavours, to compliment the meal and demonstrate their rightful place for regular sipping, beside the sea, in Newcastle. It promises to be a fun evening. Chat to Bec to reserve your spot, her number is above.


Choose your classes? hands on, seminar or four day workshop

 Sydney-Class-Program_Instagram_2

Click image to download pdf of all on offer or go to book online.

Evening classes on 10th and 11th are fully booked but there are places for all the rest


Jude Blereau is coming to Sydney, to teach with me this November

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 4.03.29 pm

Author, wholefood educator, wise woman and dear friend Jude Blereau, of Wholefood Cooking and I share a long wholefood history in Australia. Jude lives and works in Perth WA and whilst, I am often in Perth to teach public classes and The Chefs Training program we run there, Jude is rarely available to come to teach in Sydney. I am thrilled to say though, that in early November we are joining forces here. We are offering a range of delicious, informative, wholesome wholefood classes and what we intend to be, an empowering seminar; to assist you in creating your every day wholefood home. We will be teaching all these ‘know how’ classes and the seminar together. While Jude offers the more nitty gritty details and nutritional science, I aim to connect you with your ‘I can do that’ intuition. We cross over in most areas but have differing passions in the kitchen. Whilst we can both answer your questions, you might go to Jude for all questions sweet and how to cater for intolerances and come to me, with your questions about lacto fermentation, sourdough, meat and fish queries.

Our aim in this program is to share with you our combined experience and nourishing wisdoms, gained over our thirty years pioneering the wholefood industry in Australia. We would like you to leave these events inspired with information and practical tools that will enable you to carve a clear and achievable wholefood path, amidst the current plethora of confusing food and dietary information. Jude and I have walked different paths to arrive at a very similar place, which, we hope gives you the opportunity to get a broader perspective on the topics we have chosen.

We share a vision, to effect change in how we as a society grow, produce, prepare and eat food. As part of this vision we run the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program, a 3 month in depth program that covers, the fundamentals of nourishment, healthy and wholesome eating; including how we grow food and prepare it. The next program will be August 2016. For further details or a prospectus for this exciting program click here.

 


2015 wholefood cooking classes in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane and a catch up

 

Last year was extremely full. The images in this post depict happy moments, spent here in Australia, in the UK, on my first trip to Italy and a speedy visit to Chicago. Above see, ‘Campo Di Fiori’, one of Rome’s fabulous markets which offered an abundance of screamingly fresh produce such as these zucchini flowers, while the real ‘fresh food people’ called loudly; with well earned pride. The Italian Muma on view is in fact me, shot by my sister whilst wandering cobbled paths on a medieval hillside village in Tuscany. The eggs were gathered in Ilford NSW on easter Sunday and the Western Australian sardines express the full force of their proximate sacrifice.

 

I spent spring and summer in the UK and was very fortunate to attend a short course ‘Exploring the Microcosmos’ at Schumacher College; part of The Dartington Hall Estate in the Transition Town of Totnes  in Devon. The course was led by ecologists and scientists Dr’s Stephen Harding and Phillip Frances with Eva Bakkeslett and Sandor Katz providing the artistic and practical components of the week exploring all aspects of fermentation. After over 30 years of my own exploration of lacto fermentation, I deepened my love and understanding of beneficial bacterium and was invigorated by the many collaborations. Eva utilises fermentation through her art works and installations and encouraged us all to do the same. I ‘painted’ using an alive sourdough starter! Schumacher college is unlike anywhere I have been, it runs as a cooperative with everyone contributing to all facets of the colleges day to day running. After a few simple rituals and a thorough induction, I found myself a part of a very beautiful and harmonious whole. Everything got done, fun was had, friends were made and I felt reluctant to leave. The kitchen produces fabulous vegetarian meals to look forward to and recreate. We ere formed into small teams, with names reflecting the course topic, this was charming and very amusing when the team ‘E coli’ was put in charge of the clean up! After attending a short course, anyone is eligible to apply as a longer term volunteer; something I would leap at on my next trip to the UK. There were 1000 origami birds hanging in the great hall where everyone on campus gathers each morning, these were an installation as part of someones thesis. Some of us took the opportunity to go to one of the very few remaining authentic cider houses, where you will not find beer. “Ye Old Cider House” is in  Newton Abbott in South Devon and well worth travelling to; to sample a wide range of naturally fermented ciders and fortified wines. This was somewhat of a highlight and though I drank in sips alone, my voice was raised and my legs were as jelly upon leaving.

Jude Blereau’s Whole and Natural Foods Chefs Training Program runs yearly in Perth WA. Details and applications for 2015 are available through Jude’s site, in the link above. This is a selection of images taken during our visit to Balingup last year; where we take students to meet biodynamic and organic producers on working farms. We are hosted by Katrina Lane from Taste of Balingup. The 2014 students were incredibly fortunate to participate in an event Katrina organised with Simon Bryant and Sam Ward. Both chefs generously imparted their expertise and provided extraordinary feedback to and about these women.

I continue to teach the lacto fermentation, sourdough baking, meat, fish and poultry sections of the program. I am extremely grateful to Jude for the continued opportunity to work with her in co creating a program to inspire and educate the next generation of wholefood chefs and related entrepreneurs.

The 2014 cohort were a very special group of women, committed, cohesive and hungry for everything they could learn, they will go far, look out for them. An internship is part of the WNFCTP, Buena Vista Farm in the Southern Highlands took another of our students, one is soon to spend four weeks at Matt Wilkinson’s restaurant ‘Pope Joan’ in Melbourne and a student who came to the course a primary school teacher, after her internship, is employed at The Mary Street Bakery in Highgate Perth, learning the art of commercial sourdough baking.

 

I will be back in Perth and in Balingup next month and I return to Mondo Organics in Brisbane, to teach two weekend workshops in May. You will find the details and booking information on my class program here.  

If you or someone you know, is interested in hosting a wholefood cooking class or course at home, please check the information here