Updated: Jun 14
Those of you who know me as the filmmaker behind Two Angry Moms and the author of Lunch Wars may wonder why you haven't heard from me in a while. Well, my kids grew up and my husband and I worked hard to put them through college. As a couple of documentary filmmakers, this was no mean feat. And then I decided I had to go back to school to get an MBA in Sustainability. I love learning.
We never stopped cooking for our family and friends though, and our passion for documenting and sharing what lies at the intersection of the culinary arts, food science and social justice has never abated. So a decade later, we are unveiling a new production: Cultured&Cured. It's a Youtube Channel (for now) with a growing list of video programs in two playlists: Asian Fermentation and The Quarantine Edition. Our goal is to be an accessible, trusted source for high-quality "living" food entertainment, instruction and recipes.
When I envisioned making the Cultured&Cured series, I was eager to learn from the experts about the science and art of making some well-known functional foods like lacto-fermented pickles, kimchi, beer, yogurt, kefir, kvass and sourdough bread. Even more fascinating though, are the unique flavor profiles and enhanced nutrition that chefs, researchers, cooks and scientists are developing using modern twists on traditional food alchemy techniques.
Watch the premiere of Koji Part 2: Making Koji Rice with Chef Ken Fornataro
(Koji Part 1: That's a Fast Pickle with Chef Ken Fornataro is coming soon - - ass backwards)
As a first subject, we asked our friend Chef Ken Fornataro to do a video on his work with Asian-style fermentation. He's been producing his own youtube videos for quite a while, and we wanted to distill his encyclopedic knowledge into broadcast-quality content with a narrative for newcomers as well as acolytes. I hosted, Alex filmed, and we had a blast learning about koji, natto, amasake, shio-koji, miso, and the incredibly delicious recipes he makes with these enzyme-activating living ingredients.
Instead of one video, we filmed an entire series (or Channel, or Playlist or whatever you want to call it) with Chef Ken. As both a Chef and a microbiologist, Ken explains how these Asian ferments interact with your microbiome to stimulate your senses, satisfy your appetite and restore good gut health. You can see what we've posted so far on the Cultured&Cured webpage, and on our Youtube Channel, Cultured&Cured.
On Monday, June 15, I'll be co-hosting Chef Ken Fornataro's 12-hour live Zoom Zymes 2020 Event: Women and Koji Making.
Register today to get links to dozens of Ken's pre-recorded Zoom videos with the presenters
Live Presentations: 9AM EDT to 1:00 PM and 1PM to 5:30 PM EDT
$20 USD per session/$30 USD for both $ Scholarships Available
Register for the morning, afternoon or both sessions here:
Once we can travel and film again on location, we plan to feature many of these and other chefs, restaurateurs and local, small-batch producers in future episodes of Cultured&Cured.
And speaking of quarantine - we're adding new videos weekly in our second series: Cultured&Cured - The Quarantine Edition. You can see how to harvest wild leeks and how to use them fresh in a tangy pasta recipe, or turn them into pesto and pickles. We're growing pears in bottles to make pear liquor in the fall. My husband Alex is making duck and pork prosciutto, and we've followed our friends Kate and David making amaro di nocino (green walnut bitters).
And next week, we'll be posting a show with Chef Alex Gunuey Curing and Caring for Cast Iron Pots and Pans.
Learn more about Cultured&Cured on our work-in-progress webpage.
Follow us on Instagram.
Watch our shows on Youtube and subscribe to our channel.
Read more blog posts.
We'd like to hear from you. What topics do you want to learn more about? Brewing? Baking?
Confit? Canning? Nixtamalization? Natto? Let us know!
Post your comments here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.