Main Speakers

 Photo credit: Johnny Lam

Photo credit: Johnny Lam

 A journey into local food and fermenting in the restaurant kitchen.
with Albert Ponzo of the Royal Hotel (Picton)

Albert Ponzo is the Executive Chef for The Royal Hotel in Picton, Ontario, Canada. The highly anticipated historic Royal Hotel has been under re-construction and is opening in 2019. 
Albert brings over two decades of food knowledge and experience in sustainable farming and nose-to-tail eating. With a passion for working closely with nature, and sourcing ingredients ethically produced in a sustainable manner, Albert strives to prepare farm-driven food with the best seasonal local ingredients at their ripest time.
Prior to joining The Royal, Albert served as Executive Chef at Toronto's iconic Le Sélect Bistro, where he was the creative force behind the restaurant’s contemporary rendition of classic French cuisine. He is a strong supporter of SlowFood Toronto and has received numerous awards, including:  2015 Winner of Toronto’s Cochon 555 Heritage BBQ, 2014 Awarded Fellow of the Ontario Hostelry Institute and 2012 Winner of Ocean Wise Toronto Chowder Chowdown. He has also worked at celebrated Toronto restaurants Canoe and Crush Wine Bar.
In his spare time, Albert enjoys teaching nose-to-tail butchery and collaborating with other chefs internationally. He also volunteers with organizations focused on food education and sustainability. Supporting the work of the Second Harvest Food Bank, The Stop (Community Food Centres), The Child Development Institute and many others.
Albert is an avid hobby beekeeper, enjoys gardening and finding wild foods. He draws continual inspiration from his Italian roots, music, books, life experiences, his wife, Marlise, and their three children.  

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With Joel MacCharles of

Joel will share some geeky ideas and experiments from the world of fermenting. He’ll share results of experimental ferments including dried and smoked ingredients, fermenting with (naturally) flavoured salts, multi-year aged ferments and layered ferments (using a single ferment to start another and so forth)... There may also be mention of mixing ferments into homemade ice cream!

Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison created Wellpreserved in late 2008. The blog has almost 2000 articles and recipes to inspire you to get preserving! Focusing on 7 different methods of preserving (waterbath canning, infusing, dehydrating, smoking and salting, fermenting, pressure canning and cellaring), with many easy ways to get started without much experience or gear! Wellpreserved focuses on building a killer pantry that will level up all of your kitchen adventures. Joel is a lifelong home cook, recipe developer, speaker and facilitator. Dana has been a graphic designer and art director for over 20 years. Their first cookbook “Batch” (Appetite by Penguin Random House) is a national bestseller.  

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Miso Making
With Cheryl Paswater of Contraband Ferments (NYC)

In this course we will cover the basic science behind making miso, why it is good for you and how to make it yourself. Miso is a traditional Japanese product produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus Aspergillus oryzae called Koji. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in Japan. We will cover soy miso and non soy miso’s in this class.
If you are interested in DIY projects, Old World food preservation, gut health or fermentation in general this is the class for you!

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Top 10 foods for Gut Health
 With Corrie Rabbe of Radical Health (Ottawa)

Corrie Rabbe is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) who graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition with Highest Honours. She holds a Certificate in the Science & Art of Herbalism from Sage Mountain Herbal Centre. She is also a fermented food expert who has studied advanced fermentation with fermented food guru Sandor Katz. 

Corrie believes that good digestion is imperative for healing any ailment in the body. A well-functioning gut with healthy gut flora is the root of good health. Just as a tree with sick roots will never thrive, the body will never flourish without a healthy digestive system. And like the soil that surrounds the roots of the tree, our gut flora provide nourishment, protection, and support to the entire body.
Corrie has been a speaker at the 1st Annual Ontario Fermentation Festival, Ottawa-Public Libraries, and at the Agri150 “Walk on the Wild Side” presented by the City of Ottawa


Fermentation Beyond Side-Dishes
with Andrea Wheeldon of The Living Kitchen (Brighton)

We all know that a little sauerkraut or kimchi on the side can add pizzazz to your sausage or rice - but what else can you do with ferments? Andrea Wheeldon, owner of The Living Kitchen, is here to give you more ideas to make fermentation more than just the finishing touch to your meals." 

Andrea opened The Living Kitchen as a way of sharing her knowledge of fermented foods and beverages, and has been teaching others about this ancient art for over five years. Her small-group workshops are fun, informative and focused on giving you the confidence to ferment at home. Sign up for The Living Kitchen's newsletter to keep up on what's offered in your area, or follow The Living Kitchen on Facebook and Instagram.


1. How to make Kimchi at Home with Alex Currie of Pyramid Ferments

2. Making your own milk kefir with Corrie Rabbe of Radical Health

3. How to make your own kombucha with TBA