Tara Whitsitt: Fermentation on Wheels

Tara Whitsitt


I talked to Tara Whitsitt, who in 2013 converted a school bus into the fermentation lab and workspace Fermentation on Wheels. Since then, she has traveled more than 12,000 miles across the country, welcoming eager students onto her bus to teach them all about fermentation.

Also in this episode of The Splendid Table:

  • Filmmaker Gelb documents chefs’ obsessions in new Netflix series, Chef’s Table
    For the Netflix series Chef’s Table, filmmaker David Gelb followed six chefs from around the world. The chefs have “courage, relentlessness and a purity of vision that they refuse to compromise,” Gelb says.
  • How to grow microgreens, sprouts and shoots on your kitchen counter
    No matter what time of year it is, Elizabeth Millard always has fresh vegetables. The author of Indoor Kitchen Gardening grows everything from carrots to kale inside.
  • Diana Henry: Chicken doesn’t have to be bland or boring
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Yeast Are Never Depressed

Jim Lahey's Bread

I am depressed.

I can’t choke it down any longer. Like a fat birthday boy demanding the largest chunk of cake by moving his hands farther and farther apart, my depression has eyed me, every day wanting a bigger and bigger piece. This morning it took all of me.

Maybe I’m still sick with the flu, I think when I awake. It’s possible. I’ve been pummeled for more than 12 days with it. That could be the reason. I consider calling my assistant, Annie, and telling her not to come to work. Annie is cheerful. Sometimes relentlessly cheerful. I want to murder relentlessly cheerful people when I’m depressed. But I flutter the idea out of my mind. Isolation is the worst thing, I’ve learned from a lifetime of experience. Then I remember the bread dough that has been rising on my counter for almost 20 hours. I’m happy until I walk to the bathroom and forget I’m happy. Read more »

Embroidery Maker in Madeira

Lace Maker

I’ve been haunted by this picture since I took it a few weeks ago while in Madeira, Portugal. It’s of an embroidery pattern artisan. The boxes behind her extend far beyond what I was able to capture in this photo. We were literally surrounded by them. In each box were countless patterns—most far, far older than me. What makes this image so stirring is that the patterns are made of the thinnest tissue paper imaginable–whispery and ghost-like. I was reminded while standing there of the soft, crepe-thin skin of my grandmother’s hands, the near transparency of them, and how I could see the delicate bones and trace the fretwork of veins beneath. Read more »

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