We welcome you to join us for our first koji workshop in North Carolina hosted by The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain and Rich Shih of OurCookQuest. We are holding back-to-back sessions over two days, at The Eco-Institute’s farm and retreat center located in the outskirts of Chapel Hill, NC. The goal is to help you understand the fundamentals and versatility of this amazing ingredient to add depth to your dishes, while creating a network of relationships….
We have set up the two-day presentation to give you everything you need to hit the ground running with a wide range of exposure to koji makes and applications. Both days are laid out to build on each other and we offer a discount when you choose the full weekend option. However, if you are looking for a solid starter course, you can choose to take the basic workshop on Saturday only. If you already have some familiarity with koji, we recommend taking the advanced workshop on Sunday.
Day 1 Saturday, August 24: Fundamentals. The first block will cover a variety of applications. We will demonstrate how to make shio koji (umami marinade), kojizuke (pickles) and amazake (a sweet rice drink) as well as how to use them in multiple ways to make your food more delicious. During the afternoon session, guests will learn the straightforward process of making basic rice koji using aspergillus oryzae (koji-kin) spores. We will cover incubator options and show you how to build two simple setups, one with an immersion circulator and the other with a cooler and inexpensive aquarium components. At the end of the afternoon session, you will make your own shio koji to take some umami magic home.
Day 2 Sunday, August 25: Advanced Class. This class is geared towards folks in the food industry and those who already have a basic understanding of koji applications, including those who enrolled in the Fundamentals class. We’ll cover the following makes: modern versions of soy sauce and douchi; alcohol and vinegar; animal product based condiments and charcuterie. We will also teach fresh koji applications: fruit, drinks and a sweet base for desserts. Advanced koji making with a variety of starch mediums will be covered as well. At the end, we will discuss how to move towards a food-waste-free kitchen.
In both sessions there will be opportunities to connect with other chefs and like-minded food enthusiasts. This is an opportunity to build connections and learn together on land that has been building the human-Earth relationship creatively and with patience, like a koji chef does with their product.