On the final weekend in May, we're heading to Axminster for the River Cottage Festival. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's esteemed establishment celebrates their 20th anniversary this year, so it's a pleasure and a delight that we're able to go along and take them some very fine non-alcoholic drinks.
In the run-up to this, we've been chatting with some of the people closely associated with what River Cottage is doing. Last month we chatted with foodie mastermind, Gelf Alderson, and this month it's the turn of their fermentation expert, Rachel De Thample. Known initially as a chef, then as a journalist, she is also known for her previous work with Abel & Cole, for her urban foraging passions and for her books.
She'll be hosting a panel discussion involving Real Kombucha founder, David Begg, at the festival, but before that, we caught up with Rachel in her kitchen as she put the finishing touches to the latest River Cottage handbook. Touching on all things fermented, we were keen to get her take on the resurgence of interest in this style of food preparation.
While we don't ever flavour our brews here at Real Kombucha, we nonetheless find it fascinating when someone as skilled and experimental as Rachel starts digging around and looking at what might be possible. We arrived at her flat to find something akin to a laboratory, with our interviewee sat in the middle of it all brandishing what looked like a cheesecake. And that's where our conversation began...