Learning about fermentation with Sang-Hoon Degeimbre.

Learning about fermentation with Sang-Hoon Degeimbre.

Fermenting is one of the most ancient methods to preserve foods! It was used during prehistoric time, can you imagine? Of course, by then, they did not have Le Parfait jars, but they already knew how important it was to preserve good foods!

Nowadays, fermenting is becoming a healthy and savoury trend, with chefs around the world promoting it. We met with one of them, Sang-Hoon Degeimbre - owner of l’Air Du Temps restaurant, a 2 Michelin stars restaurant in Belgium – who chose fermentation as one of his favourite process to preserve the products of his garden.

Here is our little interview:

What is fermentation:

At the beginning, it’s a method to preserve vegetables. But it’s also a formidable way to highlights products and taste. In addition, this method brings real health benefits!

 

Why is this method so essential?

For us, first and foremost, it’s a way to preserve what our garden is giving us. Fermenting food gives us the chance to cook with our own fruits and vegetables all year long, even during winter, when the garden is asleep. We ferment during the high season, and then a few months later, we just have to open a jar and re-discover our harvest!

 

What is the taste benefits of fermenting?

The ferment process brings new tastes, new amino acids, and new mineral salts. All those are key ingredients to modern cuisine. The mineral salts contribute directly to acidity, while amino acids express good lengths on mouth. I was formerly a sommelier, so I am very sensitive to that, it reminds me of wine.

 

How do you explain the big comeback of fermentation in gastronomy?

For me, it’s not a comeback. Fermenting is a traditional method in Korea, where I was born. So it seemed coherent to re-introduce this process in my cooking.

I think the reasons why fermenting is such a global trend is because it brings a lot of taste and texture. For example, fermented vegetables keep their crisps!

 

Any advice to share?

Fermented veggies or fruits are like wine. When the conditions of conservation are good, the more you wait, the better the preserves will taste.

 

And last question, what’s your favourite fermented recipe right now?

Carrots! It’s my favourite veggie to ferment (well except cabbage Kimchi). And I also really love fermenting Daylily!