Sandor Ellix Katz is a DIY food activist who explores and experiments widely in the realm of fermentation.
He travels the world sharing the information he’s learned and the resources he’s developed, in order to encourage fermentation experimentation and propel live culture foods out into the world.
Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria and microscopic organisms – our ancestors and allies – that are good for the digestive tract and immune system. And like a science project crossed with cooking, they are fun to make at home.
His fermentation experimentation started with sauerkraut and was inspired while living in a rural off-the-grid Radical Faerie community in Tennessee, pursuing overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition and gardening. He found an old crock buried in their barn, harvested cabbage from the garden, chopped it up, salted it, and waited. That first batch of sauerkraut tasted so alive and powerfully nutritious it sent his salivary glands into a frenzy and got him hooked on fermentation.
Using food as medicine, Sandor has been thriving with AIDS for over 20 years and credits fermented foods and a wild-crafting lifestyle to his health.
To date, Sandor has taught hundreds of workshops demystifying fermentation and empowering people to reclaim this important transformational process in their kitchens, while naturally healing their bodies.
His book Wild Fermentation is a New York Times bestseller. His followup book The Art of Fermentation, received a James Beard award and was a finalist at the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
The Southern Foodways Alliance honored Sandor with their Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award.
He has presented workshops in most of the states of the U.S., as well as Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Indonesia, and India. Venues have included universities, museums, libraries, farms, farmers’ markets, conferences, bookstores, festivals, and community spaces.
Sandor is openly gay and part of a vibrant extended community of queer folks (and many other friends and allies) in Cannon County, Tennessee.