Portland Fermentation Festival 2017 Redux

October 31st, 2017

Nat West and Sarah West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Nat ALWAYS brings something interesting and experimental to the fest. So fun. This year he brought some of his ciderkin to sample. Ciderkin is made by using the traditional cidermaking technique of re-wetting the spent pomace (what Nat is holding) after the first pressing of juice is extracted from the apple. It was a bright yummy and appley sample that most festival-goers had never tried before. Thank you Nat and Sarah for always bringing your fun and wild energy and ferments!

Thank you so very much to everyone — there were hundreds of you! — who came out last week for our EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust! We had 100-plus tasty funky fermented foods and drinks to sample, smarty-pants exhibitors and attendees, all sorts of fun DIY demo’s, rooftop good vibes thanks to my fine fellow DJ Jimbo (I’ll post his 2017 playlist once he puts it up), Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and Cinder BBQ.

Thank you all for coming out for it and joining the stink! And thank you to our newest recruit who joined us as a co-organizer this year — festival friend and participant since day one Heidi Nestler of Wanpaku Natto. Heidi kicked-ass and you could feel her awesome months-long event organizing effort in many ways throughout the festival. Heidi really helped us focus on more diversity on the exhibitor floor. She got a lot of new folks to sample their yummy ferments this year and we are so grateful.

We put the Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours (thank you sooooo much to all of our kick-ass volunteers!) and as always we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us year after year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you.

We had some great coverage this year including this segment on KGW News with Christine Pitawanich and this Portland Monthly story by my friend and one of my all-time favorite editors Kelly Clarke. We’re very excited that Japan’s Elle Magazine was in attendance to cover the fest. I will shout that feature out from the rooftops once it prints. We’ve posted most of the other coverage on social media. If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our festival Facebook and Twitter pages.

Below are a whole bunch of photos from this year’s Stinkfest! If you have some great ones too please post them to the Facebook page or Twitter or Instagram them with the hashtag #portlandfermentationfestival.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and see you all again next year we hope! Stay stinky! Oh, and please let me know if I attributed anything incorrectly. Thanks!

Festival founders — the Dapper Foodists! Marty snapped this one of us a few minutes before we opened the doors. Left to right — David Barber, me and George Winborn. Year after stinky year. XO

People were lined up and chaming at the bit to get in. As always.

And once the doors opened it filled up quickly with hungry folks ready for fun and all sorts of special food and drink ferments.

Maria Llull brought her delicious fermented whole grain mustard.

Maria’s fermented mustard!

It makes me really happy that Gabe Rosen of Biwa /Noraneko comes to the festival every year. This year he made one of my favorite festival bites — freshly fried potato chips tossed in dehydrated powdered house kimchi and served with a sour cream dip blended with dehydrated flaked and powdered house sour pickles. Chip and dip dream come true!!

So fun having Thubten Comerford bring his sweet energy and super tasty fermented sour pickles, corn relish and sauerkraut to this year’s festival. They were all so good and it was really nice to have so many new, vibrant folks sampling this year. We were aiming for more non-commercial fermentation enthusiasts and we got it with Thubten and others. Love this pic.

Thubten’s tasty trio of ferments.

I am the lucky one who gets to organize the ticketing table volunteers annually and it makes me really happy to have my strong female friends volunteering as the fest welcoming committee in five shifts of two. Here are my friends Phoenix and Kelli at the lobby ticketing table’s first shift before the doors opened. XOXO

One of the first two demo’s of the night was the packed fermented nut cheese fondue with my friend Claudia Lucero pictured here. Claudia is working on a step-by-step vegan cheese book at the moment and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it publishes!

I got to try some of the vegan nut cheese fondue and it was sooooo good. Everything Claudia makes is delicious.

Festival co-organizer Heidi Nestler was doing a fermented natto demo (her biz is Wanpaku Natto) at the same time across the mezzanine. I really love that we have all of these tasty demo’s every year. Inspiring and empowering.

My youngest in the best friends realm — almost 11-year-old Kylie (my Michelle’s daughter). She loooooves the Portland Fermentation Festival. Her favorite tastes this year were Heidi’s natto and a couple of the kombuchas.

Me and Kylie before the doors opened.

And if you were wondering what those cute pink things are that we are wearing they are festival SCOBY (the host of bacteria and yeast that you use to make kombucha) pins that fest volunteers and dear friends Loly, Phoenix and Kelli dreamed up and made. So cute.

This year’s festival poster that the talented artist Tim Root designed for us — as he does every year. Headless Horseman!!

Lovely Amelie Rosseau brought her pinot noir and homemade fermented hot sauce to the festival. Thank you Amelie! So happy that you came and sampled this year.

Susan Laarman of Swarm Portland brought her tasty fermented honey! She has a few accounts in Portland but please check out her website swarmportland.org for more info. about what she does.

Close-up of Susan’s yummy fermented honey.

Photographer Shino Yanagawa (on the left) of Japan’s Elle Gourmet Magazine came and shot photos of the fest this year! Can’t wait to see them when the story publishes!

Photographer Joshua Eddings (check him out on Instagram at skyturtlestories) took this great shot on the rooftop this year. It always amazes me that we never get a rainy festival despite the fact its always in September/October. It’s always beautiful. We had ciders from Reverend Nat Cider up there, barbecue by Cinder BBQ and…

Music by DJ Jimbo. Every year my sweetie Jimbo makes us a festival playlist that cycles good vibes on the roof. Once he posts the playlist online I’ll share it on our festival social media.

Me and George taking a quick and sweet rooftop breather. We found out he can emcee from the roof and everyone can still hear him in the main hall of the festival a floor below. Hilarious. Photo by Loly.

Us earlier in the day hunting and gathering for the festival. AND getting a little sweet pick-me-up from Nuvrei which we both adore.

Festival favorite Sash Sunday of OlyKraut! We look forward to seeing Sash (she lives in Olympia) and tasting all of her awesome ferments year after year.

Really yummy fermented breads spread from Tabor Bread at SE 50th and Hawthorne. We LOVE Tabor Bread…

And John from Tabor serving them up.

Careen Stoll is another tried and true festival friend. Every year she brings her beautiful hand thrown porcelain crocks that you can purchase at various galleries and shops around town.

Careen and one of our favorite festival veteran volunteers — Marty Dooley.

SOMA brought all sorts of tasty kombuchas this year. Love that they had kombucha taps to serve from.

This was a really, really yummy fest sample — Cultured Manifestation’s Yummus. Hummus made with fermented garlic, lime kefir whey, cumin, sumac and more.

Made by these two! Val Pena and Paul Castoral of Cultured Manifestations.

We loved having Madi Kay of Imperfect Produce at the festival this year to talk with attendees all about the good work that the company does. Please check them out at imperfectproduce.com if you haven’t already. Inspiring.

KGW’s Christine Pitawanich came and did a live segment in the main tasting hall at 7pm and we had fun showing her different ferments and taking her around. You can check out the segment at the link in my post above.

We first took her to the Choi’s Kimchi table with Matt and Chong Choi and Elmo. Choi’s is my very favorite kimchi. Matt and his mom come to the fest every year. We love them.

We also took them by Fumiko and Jason’s Obon PDX table. Fumiko was sampling their delicious tofu misozuke.

We tried to make it to the Jorinji Miso table with all of these fine folks including Earnest and Yuri Migaki but they were too popular and their table was too crowded. Earnest and Yuri are my dear friends and I love them and their miso so much! If you haven’t tried it before get some! Photo by Loly Leblanc.

A close up of their misos. They made all sorts of tasty miso treats throughout the night including white miso granola, roasted miso chicken and miso dressing, tonjiri with red miso, pork and winter vegetables plus miso soup. YUM!

Heidi Nestler at her Wanpaku Natto table — natto sampling (navy bean natto with mustard and natto kimchi) and educating.

Heidi’s felted SCOBY looks A LOT like her new Wanpaku Natto logo. Cute!

Another festival friend year after year — Colin Franger of Blue Bus Cultured Foods with all of his tasty treats.

Tina Johnson giving her super informative demo all about fermenting and curing olives.

Tina’s cute sign.

Anja Spence and Bill Jones of Miss Zumstein’s Bakery and Coffee Shop sampled their bright and delicious house fermented hot sauces. So yummy!!

John Westdahl of Squirrel & Crow Tempeh serving up his fried chickepea and sunflower seed tempeh along with his split green pea tempeh aka tempea ;

Festival ticketing volunteers Loly and Kelli (thank you also to Jess, Jemma, Phoenix, Michele K, Michelle G and Stacy!!) enjoying the festival fun.

Brian Shaw of Oregon Brineworks serving up the wild and beautiful array of super tasty ferments that he and Connie always bring to the festival. I helped at his table a bit under the guise of “helping” — really I just wanted to be closer to all of those yummy samples 😉

And a sweet goodbye from all of the fine folks at SakeOne in Forest Grove who came out and poured all sorts of lovely sakes. They sent me home with a bottle of their pear sake. Happy.

And, as always, the final festival shot goes to George Winborn — co-founder/co-organizer extraordinaire. The final fest pic is usually of him wearing the shoulder strapped vacuum pack but I guess Ecotrust finally got rid of that vacuum so now no vacuum pack. Still so cute 😉

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out this year for our EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival. This year felt really special. I think we all needed to get together and have some good old fashioned stinky fun. I know I did. Thank you and see you next year. Happy fermenting!