Sitka Kitch to host fermentation workshop with Sandor Katz on July 9

Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, is a nationally recognized food writer and fermentation guru. He will be traveling through Southeast Alaska (Sitka, Juneau, Haines, and Gustavus) to offer community education and workshops about the fermentation of vegetables.

Sandor’s trip to Southeast Alaska includes a fermentation workshop from 5:30-8 p.m. on Monday, July 9, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen (505 Sawmill Creek Road, inside First Presbyterian Church). This class costs $15 per student, and is sponsored by SEARHC, with hopes of making community food education accessible to all. There is no food/supply fee for this class.

Join this hands-on fermentation workshop with a true fermentation expert to learn how to ferment vegetables at home easily and safely to create a delicious, nutrient-packed superfood.

The workshop will include:
  • a discussion of “what is fermentation?”
  • why fermentation is practiced worldwide
  • the many practical benefits of fermentation
  • functional concepts about fermentation
  • instruction on how to make sauerkraut with a variety of vegetables
  • information about what to do with sauerkraut at home and how long to store it
  • troubleshooting any problems with home fermentation

Students will leave with their own jar of kraut, plus a wealth of knowledge on safe home fermentation practices.

Note: Please bring a chef’s knife and vegetable grater if you have them. Some knives and graters will be provided if students don’t bring these supplies from home.

Class space is limited, so register early. The registration deadline is 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 7.

Register online at (click on the class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class, contact Holly at 966-8938 or

This is one of several classes hosted by the Sitka Kitch this summer. The Sitka Kitch will host a rescheduled Starting A Cottage Foods Business class from noon until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. There will be a Rambunctious Rhubarb class with Lisa Sadleir-Hart from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, June 25, at the Sitka Kitch. The Sitka Kitch also will host a three-class Baking With Betsy series from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, July 3 (savory breads), July 10 (sweet breads), and July 17 (baking with alternative sweeteners), at the Sitka Kitch. We’re also waiting to hear details on a couple of other potential classes later this summer, so watch for updates.


• Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel to host fermentation demo at Saturday’s Sitka Farmers Market


At this Saturday’s Sitka Farmers Market, Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel will host a live fermentation booth where she will give out samples of locally made sauerkraut and information on how to ferment at home.

Fermentation is an ancient process where microorganisms in our food extend their usefulness and enhance flavor. Fermentation is used in a wide variety of food from around the world, including the yeast that helps make bread, wine, beer, cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, coffee, soy sauce, and more. Sandor Katz, who wrote The Art of Fermentation, calls it “the flavorful space between fresh and rotten.”

Another advantage to fermentation is it can extend the shelf life of many foods. “It’s not forever, like canned foods that you can put into a pantry or storm cellar and forget about for 10 years and still eat it,” Katz said. “These foods are alive, they’re dynamic, but they’re extremely effective strategies for preserving food through a few seasons, which is really the point.”

Recently, one of the big discussions about fermentation is how it can help replenish healthy gut bacteria, especially when items are fermented by lactic acid bacteria. These helpful probiotics are essential in an age where so many of our foods include chlorine in the water, antibiotic drugs, antibacterial cleaning products, and other sanitizing methods that kill healthy bacteria with the bad.

In addition to learning how simple it is to make sauerkraut, visitors to the booth will be able to learn about and taste kombucha. Bring a small jar to the market so you can take a kombucha starter home with you.  This week’s Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the market.