In a short interlude from my usual articles, essays, rants… I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite food bloggers (and waste minimisers): Anne Marie, also known as the Zero-Waste Chef.
I came across Anne Marie’s blog the Zero Waste Chef last summer during Plastic Free July and since then we have been swapping tips and inspiration online. Anne Marie represents the type of food writing I love. Whilst many food bloggers focus on aspirational cooking, often accompanied by beautiful but stylised photographs, the Zero-Waste Chef’s blog is inspirational.
Anne Marie focuses on fresh, wholesome and readily available ingredients, often vegetables and fruit, and turns them into simple but delightful treats. In an engaging style her articles emphasise method, describing the joys and peculiarities of the process to encourage and reassure cooks of all levels.
Whilst some of the Zero-Waste Chef’s recipes may seem unusual, there is nothing new-fangled about them, in fact many of her recipes are hundreds if not thousands of years old! Why? Anne Marie is a lady on a mission, eager for us to rediscover the joys of fermentation.
Fermentation is an ancient (probably the oldest) food preservation technique, which involves encouraging the good bacteria in food to stifle the harmful ones in an air-free environment, as with sauerkraut. It is also the biological process at the heart of making sourdough bread, yoghurt and even mead. Whilst some writers like to create a mystique around fermentation, Anne Marie prefers to emphasise how we are just part of a long tradition of ordinary people using fermentation to preserve produce and prepare food. Her blog regularly shows how with limited equipment and a little patience we can all turn simple ingredients into tasty comestibles and heady brews.
Now is a particularly good time to discover Anne Marie’s blog Zero-Waste Chef. Determined to revive our knowledge of this ancient technique, she has decided to run workshops on different types of ferments. In order to spread the word as widely as possible, she is even offering free online webinars, scheduling them at 10am Pacific Time so food-lovers and inquisitve cooks in as many time zones as possible can join her. I for one have signed up for her dairy ferments and sauerkraut sessions!
Photo used with the kind permission of the Zero-Waste Chef.