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Austin’s first fermentation festival set for Nov. 15

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Austin has long been home to cooks with a fondness for fermentation, but in November, our festival-obsessed town will finally get our first festival dedicated to the art of fermenting food.

The first Austin Fermentation Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, 3110 Esperanza Crossing in the Domain.

It will be a free educational event featuring workshops on making kimchi, kefir, cheese, charcuterie, sourdough, vinegars and lacto-fermented vegetables, as well as a community culture swap, where fermentation lovers can share their beloved SCOBYs and starters.

Guests can sample fermented foods and beverages from a number of local companies, and Whole Foods Market will be selling a lunch filled with dishes that you can’t make without some element of fermentation. Although the daytime event is free, tickets to an afterparty at HausBar Farm will benefit the Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance and Sustainable Food Center.

The keynote speaker will be Sandor Ellix Katz, the “fermentation revivalist” and author of several books (“Wild Fermentation,” “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved” and “The Art of Fermentation,” which won a James Beard Award in 2013) that have become indispensable guides for modern fermentation fanatics.

There will also be live music and vendors from the Texas Farmers’ Market, which runs the Cedar Park and Mueller farmers markets.

You can secure the free tickets to the daytime event at atxfermfest2014.eventbrite.com, where online donations to this fundraiser event are also accepted. Tickets to the meet-and-greet with Sandor Katz and farm-to-plate dinner at HausBar Farm ($75 through Oct. 15, $90 after that) are available at aff2014afterparty.eventbrite.com.

For more information, go to texasfarmersmarket.org/austin-fermentation-festival-2014.