Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 9:50 pm | Fair 59º


Fermentation Fest to Bubble Over With Culinary Creativity

Tickets are on sale for the 7th annual Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival (SBFF), to be held Saturday, Sept. 10, at Rancho La Patera and Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Road, Goleta.

The Fermentation Festival is an annual gathering of local and regional culinary alchemists, wild fermenters and health experts showcasing the history, benefits and preparation of fermented foods.

There will be three educational stages featuring some 50 speakers, demonstrations and panel discussions, exhibitors, do-it-yourself fermentation stations, a bacteria buddy-passport kids program, and a farm-to-bar area for those age 21 and older.

“SBFF is not just about pickles and sauerkraut,” said Katie Hershfelt, co-founder and festival director.

“This year, we are excited to feature unique and delicious ferments from around the world, such as eggplant escabeche, citrus water kefir soda, hot Thai chili sauce, coconut yogurt cheesecake, French sourdough brioche, and wild ale cocktails,” she said.

The theme is Nurture What Nature Gave You, aligning with a larger grassroots movement that is changing the way we view our food, our connection to the earth and our ability to thrive, Hershfelt said.

Fermented, cultured and traditional foods farmed in healthy, bacteria-rich soil nourish the microbiome of our planet and ourselves, she said.

“Our microbiome is the amazing, internal ecosystem that we inherit from our parents at birth,” said Lynn Hartman, festival co-founder and education director.

“It is home to the vast army of microbes designed to protect us against harmful germs, break down our food to release energy and synthesize micronutrients such as vitamins B and K.

“Like the human microbiome, protecting our planet’s microbiome is equally important,” she said.

Festival highlights:

Panel discussions on microbiome and nutrition during pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood development
New DIY fermentation stations
Extended farm-to-bar hours
Live music
Round-trip transport options from Carpinteria and Santa Barbara via the Pickle Bus, includes complimentary kombucha for all riders. $10.
Data results from collaborative study with Slow Food Ventura County on fermented foods, probiotics and our microbiome/mycobiome.

Proceeds from the festival will support Slow Food Ventura County and its programs aimed at better understanding the role of microbes, fermented foods and probiotics on the immune system and the human body.

This year’s festival sponsors include Rancho La Patera and Stow House. Sponsorships are available by contacting Hershfelt, 722-5324, or [email protected]

Tickets for SBFF start at $30 for general admission and are available at For full festival details, visit

— Elizabeth Davidson for Fermentation Festival.


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