Agenda & Speakers

We will be regularly updating our agenda leading up to the event, so please check back often for the latest schedule.

The agenda will follow the tracks below and will include individual presentations, panel presentations, keynotes, receptions, and networking opportunities.

Track Description Topics Covered
Food and Flavor Hear from leading chefs, authors, and food producers on the latest fermentation techniques, flavors, and innovations. Developing New Flavors & Techniques
Trends from Around the World
State of the Art in Fermented Beverages
Business, Legal, and Regulatory Learn how to launch and grow a fermentation business, and navigate the industry's legal and regulatory hurdles. Launching & Growing a Fermentation Business
Consumer Education & Marketing
Market Trends in Regulation & Compliance
Science, Health, and Research Discover the science behind fermentation, how to monitor and manage it, and current research into its health benefits. Fermentation Basics
Fermented Foods & Health
Monitoring & Managing Fermented Microbiomes

Agenda & Speakers Subject to Change

Invited Speakers

We will be regularly announcing speakers leading up to the event, so please check back often for the latest list of speakers

Jessica Alonzo

Jessica Alonzo, a Texas native, is currently the Head of Fermentation and sous chef at Petra and the Beast in Dallas, TX. In December of 2016, she began working for Chef Matt McCallister at FT-33, which is where she was first introduced to pickling, fermentation and preservation. During her time there, she learned the importance of building good relationships with local farmers, and responsibly sourcing produce and whole animals. She also adopted a new mindset; save everything, turn food scraps into something useful…whole utilization. June of 2018, she went on to stage in California and attended fermentation workshops in New York and Austin. Using the preservation techniques learned and mixed with her own study, she built the larder for Chef Matt McCallister’s current restaurant (Homewood), before moving on to Petra and the Beast. She constantly pushes herself to research and apply preservation techniques from different cultures to local Texas ingredients.

Drew Anderson

Drew Anderson is Co-founder and CEO of Cleveland Kitchen, an innovative culinary brand focused on fresh, fermented products that taste amazing, are healthy, and accessible for all with a goal to invigorate and excite the American diet with delicious fermented foods. Drew grew up managing some of the first farmers markets in northeastern Ohio through the non-profit his mother started. After serving up mouthwatering takes on sauerkraut under Cleveland Kraut at local farmers markets for many years, Drew and his brothers have expanded their availability and now, provide world-class products across the country and lead the refrigerated sauerkraut category nationally. Drew has always had a love for cooking and experimenting with fermented foods. When he left his analytics career to move into food, it felt like he was coming home.

Fred Breidt

Dr. Breidt is a USDA Agricultural Research Service Microbiologist and Lead Scientist in the ARS Food Science Research Unit (FSRU) located in the Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences Department at NC State University, Raleigh NC, and is also a USDA Professor of Food Science at NC State. He has a BS in genetics from The Ohio State University and a PhD in microbiology from the University of Kansas. He has over 30 years of experience working in the FSRU, primarily studying the microbiology of fermented and acidified vegetables. Current research is focused on acid resistant bacterial pathogens in fermented vegetables and other acid foods, to aid producers and regulatory agencies define safe production practices.

Cortney Burns

Cortney burns is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Burns earned degrees in Cultural Anthropology and South Asian studies. Upon graduation, Burns moved to Australia, where she first began to cook professionally, and eventually returned to the States in 2001, settling in the Bay Area. Currently Cortney splits her time between Cape Cod and New Hampshire as she finishes writing a new book, “Nourish Me Home,” which will be published in Spring 2020. She is also consulting on the setup and extension of various preservation programs around the country.

Christopher J. Cifelli

Christopher J. Cifelli, Ph.D., is Vice President of Nutrition Research at National Dairy Council (NDC).  In this position, Dr. Cifelli leads the Dairy and Public Health research platform, the goal of which is to provide scientific evidence on the role of dairy foods in healthy and sustainable eating patterns. Dr. Cifelli is responsible for the strategic planning, development, management, and communication of research on the effects of dairy consumption on type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, digestive health, bone health and childhood nutrition. In addition, Dr. Cifelli leads NDC research utilizing the NHANES dataset.

Joseph Corby

Joseph Corby worked for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for 37 years retiring in 2008 as the Director of the Division of Food Safety and Inspection. He is currently an Advisor for the Association of Food & Drug Officials [AFDO], and he serves on the Board of Directors for the International Food Protection Training Institute [IFPTI]. He is also an Instructor for IFPTI, Louisiana State University, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and the University of Tennessee. He has been an outspoken advocate for the advancement of a nationally integrated food safety system and continues to work with numerous groups and associations in support of this cause.

Alex Corsini

Alex is the Founder and CEO of Alex's Awesome Sourdough, a brand with a mission to bring back the traditional way of baking prior to ultra-processing when dough was tastier and easier to digest. Upon learning that whole grain sourdough is more nutrient-dense and lower glycemic than conventional baked goods, he wanted to offer a healthier alternative based on slow fermentation and 100% organic ingredients.

Hannah Crum

Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma, founded Kombucha Kamp in 2004. She and partner Alex LaGory are longtime educators and Kombucha advocates. In 2014, to further their mission of "changing the world, one gut at a time," they founded Kombucha Brewers International (KBI) where Hannah serves as President. Spreading KBI’s mission to promote and protect Kombucha worldwide, Hannah has been a featured speaker at business conferences, roundtables and on television as the leading expert in Kombucha.

Robert Danhi

Robert Danhi, Curator of Cultures, is a thirty-four year veteran of the F&B industry, Chef Danhi has operated restaurants, was a chef-instructor at the CIA, award winning Southeast Asian cookbook author, TV show host and has become an industry thought leader in R&D throughout the innovation process. Robert has been utilizing multimedia capturing technology to curate and share flavor experiences for last two decades. In 2015, his team began building the Flavor360™ software platform to create tools for the Food & Beverage industry’s Innovation Teams of Marketers, R&D Chefs, Product Developers, and Food Scientists. In 2019 he co-founded Flavor360™ Solutions Inc. and they recently launched Flavor360º EXPLORE, the first of a suite of apps and cloud-based FlavorSite™ to plan, discover, capture, archive, analyze and share the 360 degree flavor experience at every stage of the R&D process.

Rachel Dutton

Rachel Dutton is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. Dr. Dutton received her B.S. from UC San Diego and her Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. The Dutton lab is working towards characterizing the diverse species interactions that occur within microbiomes, using simple, experimentally-tractable communities such as cheese as model systems. Dr. Dutton has been named an NIH Director’s New Innovator, a Packard Fellow, and a Pew Scholar, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, NPR, and Netflix. She is also part of the Leadership Team for UC San Diego's Center for Microbiome Innovation.

David Ehreth

David Ehreth is the founder of Alexander Valley Gourmet, the company that produces Sonoma Brinery™ brand fresh, all-natural pickles and sauerkraut featuring a number of live-culture fermented products. Now in their fifteenth year, Sonoma Brinery products are sold throughout the US in over three thousand stores. Alexander Valley Gourmet is located in Healdsburg, California and employs over 50 people. Prior to founding Alexander Valley Gourmet, Mr. Ehreth had a 30-year career in telecommunications technology where he founded and co-founded several companies that developed advanced telecommunications products. He studied electronics at College of Marin and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He holds three patents in the field of telecommunications.

Jori Jayne Emde

Jori Jayne Emde is a flavor maven. An Austin, Texas native, Jori completed an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Texas Culinary Academy in 2002 and then immediately moved to New York City. Her specialties are Fermentation and Herbal Alchemy with a focus on terroir. Besides providing Fish & Game, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant she opened with her husband, chef Zakary Pelaccio, with many of its distinctive ingredients, she also sells her own line of products under the label Lady Jayne’s Alchemy. Jori is also an Administrative Contributor with Alchemy Unfettered and a teacher with Kymia Arts in Taos, New Mexico.

Michael Gänzle

Michael Gänzle trained as Food Engineer at the Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany, and received a doctoral degree in Food Microbiology in 1998. Since 2005, he holds an academic appointment at the University of Alberta, where he is now appointed as Professor and Canada Research Chair in Food Microbiology and Probiotics. Current research projects focus on the functional characterization of lactic acid bacteria for use as starter cultures, protective cultures, or probiotics in food; the production of oligosaccharides from sucrose or lactose by lactic acid bacteria and biological activities of oligosaccharides; novel, non-thermal preservation methods with a focus on high pressure processing and biopreservation; and intestinal microbial ecology with focus on the use of prebiotic carbohydrates and dietary fiber to improve host health.

Robert Hutkins

Dr. Hutkins is the Khem Shahani Distinguished Professor of Food Science, Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska where he runs the Hutkins lab which studies bacteria important in human health and in fermented foods. Dr. Hutkins also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP).

Adam Inman

Adam Inman is the Assistant Program Manager for the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Lodging Program. He came back to the world of food safety in 2009 after three rewarding years as a case review officer with KDA’s Pesticide and Fertilizer Program. Adam was the food safety technical specialist for KDA’s Food Safety Program from 2004 to 2006 and a food protection investigator for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Bureau of Consumer Health from 2002 to 2004. Before coming to the public sector, Adam worked in the environmental field.

Charlie Kalish

Charlie Kalish is Co-Owner of Food Safety Guides, a food safety and quality consulting and training firm located in San Diego, CA. Charlie is an expert on FDA/FSMA compliance, GMPs, HACCP, Food Defense, Food Fraud, GFSI audit certification (SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000), and the vendor requirements of major retailers (e.g. Trader Joes, Costco, Whole Foods/Amazon, Nestle). He has consulted and trained hundreds of individuals representing government, academia, and businesses at every stage, from start-ups to $300M brands. Charlie is a regular contributing author to Food Safety Magazine and member of numerous trade organizations, including the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).

Sandor Ellix Katz

Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His books Wild Fermentation and the Art of Fermentation, along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” Sandor is the recipient of a James Beard award and other honors.

Jeremy Kean

Jeremy Kean is executive chef and partner at brassica kitchen in Boston’s Jamaica plain. Having cooked at no.9 park, Rialto, garden in the cellar, Aquitaine and impatience farms. Jeremy was then the co-founder of whisk pop-up restaurant. The love for fermentation with the goal of umami and a 0 waste program has inspired brassicas constantly changing French menu. His goal is to gain and share knowledge of innovative preservation and utilization of whole ingredients and byproducts.

Mateo Kehler

Mateo Kehler started Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT with his brother Andy in 2003 where they produce a wide range of cheeses from the milk of their herd of 45 Ayrshire cows. In 2008 they started a new venture, the Cellars at Jasper Hill, to lower the barriers to entry for new cheesemakers by ripening, marketing and selling cheeses, managing logistics and administration and providing technical support to artisan cheese makers. In 2013 Jasper Hill built a microbiology lab to leverage and apply the cheese microbiome research conducted by Dr Rachel Dutton and Dr Ben Wolfe over several years at Jasper Hill.

Galia Kleiman

Galia Kleiman is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. At La Cocina de Galia, her fermentation atelier in Mexico City, she gives cooking lessons, talks and workshops on fermentation, microbiome, and digestive system. She has her own line of functional food products that include: Bone broth, fermented condiments, cultured vegetables and krauts, now for sale in several stores all over Mexico City. Galia is co-founder of Ferment Oaxaca, a three day fermentation summit, the biggest event on fermentation in Spanish speaking countries. She is currently Mexico City Chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization dedicated to restoring nutrient-rich foods in people's diets through education, research and activism.

Abraham Mo Langer

Mo has over 20 years of experience helping organizations develop niche online and offline communities. He has handled audience development and marketing for numerous media and event organizations.

Edward Lee

Edward Lee is the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, KY and the Culinary Director for Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland and Penn Quarter, D.C. Chef Lee was the recipient of the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Writing for his bookButtermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting Pot Cuisine. Lee has also been a six-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast. In 2018, Food & Wine Magazine named 610 Magnolia one of the country’s most important restaurants of the past 40 years. The Michelin Guide DC awarded Succotash a Bib Gourmand 2019.

Maria Marco

Maria Marco is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, USA. Prof. Marco received her BS degree in microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She then worked as a postdoc and subsequently as a scientist at NIZO food research, The Netherlands where she also led a project supported by the TI Food & Nutrition. Prof. Marco initiated her laboratory at UC Davis in 2008. Her research focuses on lactic acid bacteria in food systems and the mammalian digestive tract. The broad objective of her work is to identify the attributes of microbes that can be used to guide improvements in food production to benefit human health.

Casey McCue

Casey McCue is the Director of the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services and has worked for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets since 2000. Casey has served in many positions with the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services since starting as a Dairy Products Specialist. Casey grew up deeply involved in his grandparents’ dairy farm and after graduating from SUNY Canton, he began his career in Quality Assurance on both the producer and processor sides of the industry prior to becoming a Public Health Official.

Kheedim Oh

Kheedim Oh is the founder of Mama O's Premium Kimchi based in Brooklyn NY. A life long food enthusiast and accidental entrepreneur. Kheedim asked his Mama O to teach him how to make kimchi because all the kimchi in the stores was not to his liking. Starting with $50 and a skateboard he started selling at Jeffrey Meat Market in Essex Market. Fast forward ten years and now his products are sold in stores like Whole Foods nationwide.

Brian Petro

Brian Petro opened the doors of his marketing agency in 1995 when the Internet was still an emerging technology. Since those days he's worked with local clients and more than few larger ones including Chevron, Merck and First American. Brian, and his team, have been instrumental in creating Bubbies online presence including the company's impressive efforts in social media, search engine optimization and online advertising.

Richard Preiss

Richard Preiss is cofounder of Escarpment Laboratories, a yeast company focused on providing fermentation solutions for craft brewers. The company is based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Richard holds a BSc. in Microbiology and a MSc. in Molecular Biology & Genetics from the University of Guelph. He is a member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and American Society of Brewing Chemists. Richard leads the R&D efforts of the company with the focus on creating new products and better solutions for brewers.

Joshua Rood

Joshua Rood was born and raised in Maine, Joshua began his formal beverage training in his early twenties in Los Angeles. After almost a decade he shifted his focus to food and transformational healing. After moving to the Bay Area and working with lululemon in the yoga and fitness communities, Joshua fell in love with the innovation and authenticity brewing in craft beer and kombucha. He met a talented young brewer with similar passions, and together they founded Dr Hops Kombucha Beer in 2015. He committed himself to producing the world’s most delightful and health-conscious alcoholic beverages. With a BA in Economics from Swarthmore College and a diverse professional and experiential background, Joshua serves as the guiding light and CEO of Dr Hops Kombucha Beer. He is also currently training to lead The Self-Expression and Leadership Program for Landmark Worldwide.

Stephen Rustad

Stephen Rustad entered the advertising industry just as television became the dominant marketing medium. He worked at several of the leading ad agencies in San Francisco as an Art Director and later an Associate Creative Director. Brands that he helped included Hewlett Packard, Chevron, Dole, Activision, Bumble Bee (tuna), Pillsbury, Duraflame, Litter Green, Safeway and Clorox, Since its inception in 1989, Steve has worked closely with Bubbies Fine Foods shaping the brand's image, message and graphics in both traditional marketing and social media. Steve created and produced 4 seasons of Spoiled to Perfection, a YouTube video series that showcased "the art of pickling, fermentation and other food magic."

Mary Ellen Sanders

Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders' is the Executive Science Officer with the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). Her professional activities focus on providing evidence-based guidance to food and dietary supplement companies on the role of probiotics in human health. She advises on scientific substantiation of probiotic claims, product development and safety of probiotics. She also works with several non-profit organizations (including ISAPP, FAO/WHO, USP, ILSI-North America and World Gastroenterology Organisation) to provide information on probiotics for consumers and professionals.

Rich Shih

Rich Shih is one of the leading culinary explorers of koji and miso in the United States and an in-demand food preservation consultant. He is also the Exhibit Engineer for the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) based in New York City. Find out more on his blog at OurCookQuest.com.

Christopher Shockey and Kirsten K. Shockey

Christopher Shockey and Kirsten K. Shockey are the co-authors of bestselling Fermented Vegetables, Fiery Ferments, and the new Miso, Tempeh, Natto and other Tasty Ferments books that came from their desires to both help people eat in new ways, both for the health of themselves and the planet and to push these culinary arts to new flavors. They got their start in fermenting foods twenty years ago on a 40-acre hillside smallholding which grew into their organic food company. When Kirsten and Christopher realized their passion was for the process, they chose to focus on teaching fermentation arts to others instead. They travel worldwide helping people to make, enjoy and connect with their food.

Julie Smolyansky

Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over Lifeway Foods at the age of 27 in 2002. Since then, Julie has continued the company’s growth trajectory with creative product development and marketing, bringing kefir into the U.S. mainstream and boosting annual company revenues to over $100 million. Under her leadership, the company has expanded distribution throughout the United States, Mexico, the UK, and Ireland as well as portions of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Julie has been named to Fortune Business ‘40 under 40,’ Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, as one of the Best Instagrammers of the 40 Under 40 list, and was recently named a 2020 Champion of Wellness by VeryWell. She released her first book, The Kefir Cookbook: An Ancient Healing Superfood for Modern Life, Recipes from My Family Table and Around the World in March of 2018. She lives in Chicago and is the mother of two girls.

Abigail Snyder

Abby Snyder is an Assistant Professor of Microbial Food Safety in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. Dr. Snyder received her B.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University and her Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from Cornell University. Dr. Snyder works with members of the fermented food industry to improve food safety practices and help facilitate regulatory compliance, particularly with respect to the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule within FSMA. Her outreach to these groups has focused on hazard identification and risk management using a size-sensitive approach for small-scale food entrepreneurs to large-scale food producers.

Jeremy Umansky

Jeremy Umansky is a chef/owner of Larder: A Curated Delicatessen & Bakery in Cleveland, Ohio, nominated by the James Beard Foundation as the Best New Restaurant in America in 2019. He has been featured in numerous publications like Bon Appetit and Saveur and was named “The Deli Prophet” by Food & Wine in the March 2019 Makers Issue.

Kevin Verstrepen

Kevin Verstrepen is professor in Genetics and Genomics at Leuven University, Group Leader in Systems Biology at VIB, co-director of the Leuven Institute for Beer Research and Honorary Professor at Nottingham University.

Jessica Wang

Jessica Wang is a Chinese American food advocate and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. She is the founder of Picklé, an educational pickling workshop project. Her work is influenced by art, personal health encounters, and a diverse cultural upbringing - including her teen years spent in Chiang Mai, Thailand. With an academic background in fine art, art education experience, and a decade spent in professional kitchens combined with a passion for sharing the wonders of fermentation and mindful living, Ms. Wang has naturally grown into a host of creative educational pickling and cooking experiences.

Jeffrey Wilson

Jeffrey Wilson is a fifteen year veteran of the fermentation industry and the former president and head of operations for one of the largest naturally fermented pickle and pickled vegetable brands in North America. With extensive experience in fermented foods product development, sourcing, quality control, and operations as well as supplier, distributor and retailer relations; Jeff has been on the front lines of the consumer packaged goods side of the fermentation industry nearly all of his professional career. Through his consultancy: Meticulous LLC, Jeff provides business and strategy advisory services to all manner of consumer packaged goods brands and industry service providers.

Benjamin E. Wolfe

Benjamin E. Wolfe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Tufts University, running the Wolfe Lab. The work in the Wolfe Lab will help develop principles of microbial community assembly that can guide the design and manipulation of microbial communities in agriculture, industry, medicine, and nature. Prof. Wolfe received his BS degree in Natural Resources/Plant Science from Cornell University, his masters from University of Guelph and PhD from Harvard University before becoming a Postdoctoral Researcher in the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard. His research and teaching interests include Ecology and evolution of microbial communities, Microbiology of food systems, Plant-microbe interactions, and Public perceptions and knowledge of microbes.

Why attend

FERMENTATION 2021 is the first event in the United States that brings together everyone involved in the world of fermentation -  producers, retailers, chefs, scientists, authors, suppliers, and regulators to share knowledge, experience, and strategies for growth.

Together we will explore the power of fermentation to build flavor, preserve food, and enhance health,  and discuss how we can document and promote these benefits to the public.

Get practical tips on how to grow your fermentation business

Uncover the trends driving the industry

Learn the latest in fermentation techniques

Network with a diverse group of fermentation experts

Find your next supplier, new seller, or business partner

Hear about the state of the art in health and scientific research

Add-on to your travel plans for the National Restaurant Association Show or the Sweets and Snacks Expo

Enjoy the endless things to see, do, and experience in Chicago (bring the family)

Who Should Attend

  • Producers, suppliers, importers, and retailers of fermented foods and products, and those that use fermentation in their production processes (major product categories listed below)

Beer
Cheese
Chocolate
Coffee
Hard Cider
Kefir
Kombucha

Kvass
Mead
Miso
Natto
Pickles
Sake
Sauerkraut/Kimchi

Sourdough 
Soy
Spirits
Tempeh
Vinegar/Shrubs
Wine
Yogurt

We also welcome producers of products that are oxidized (eg, tea) and cured (eg, salumi, jerky).

  • Suppliers, importers, and retailers of fermented foods and products
  • Chefs and other food service professionals
  • Academics and researchers
  • Health and food technology professionals

Past Sponsors

View sponsorship options here

Click the button below to request additional information about sponsoring FERMENTATION 2021

Venue

FERMENTATION 2021 will be held at the
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile 

540 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(Driveway Entrance on 541 North Rush Street)
+1-312-836-0100

We have negotiated a discounted room rate of $179/night for FERMENTATION 2020 attendees. Rooms are available for stays May 19 - May 24.

You must book your room by May 7, 2020 to receive the discounted rate.

Things to do in Chicago

So how do you choose between all of Chicago’s top restaurants, nightlife spots, shopping districts, sporting events, museums, and performing arts? Check out Choose Chicago to plan your time in the Windy City.

Register

REGISTRATION COMING SOON!

Attending with a group of 3 or more? Contact us for information on group discounts.

Your registration gives you access to all tracks and sessions and includes a 1-Year Membership to The Fermentation Association.

Refund Policy: Tickets are non-refundable, but you may transfer your ticket to another person.

Questions? Please contact us at info@fermentationassociation.org

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