Food fermentation guru will speak at Iowa State University on Jan. 22

AMES, Iowa -- Self-described fermentation revivalist Sandor Ellix Katz, who wrote the book Newsweek called "the fermenting bible," will speak at Iowa State University.

Katz's presentation, "The Art of Fermentation," will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The talk is free and open to the public.

In his 2003 "fermenting bible," entitled "Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods," Katz demystified the process of this preservation method and shared the history, health benefits and cultural significance of fermentation. And he discussed how foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi and ginger beer came into existence.

Katz book cover

His most recent bestselling book, "The Art of Fermentation," won the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship. A comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation, the book leads readers through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt. It also takes an in-depth look at the concepts and processes behind fermentation, offering practiced fermentationists a deeper understanding of one of the world's oldest food preservation methods. 

Katz is a graduate of Brown University and a retired policy wonk. His interests in cooking, nutrition and gardening led him to fermentation. He conducts workshops throughout the world on demystifying fermentation.

Katz will conduct a workshop at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Linden Hall Dining Center. This workshop is open to the public, but space is limited. To reserve a spot, email

Katz's presentation is co-sponsored by AgArts, Culinary Sciences Club, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Food Science Club, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Sustainable Agriculture Student Association and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling 515-294-9935.