Course curriculum

What is plant medicine?

The food we eat each day is our body’s fuel and provides the building blocks for our cells, and the environment for the microbes that call our bodies home. But it is all too easy, and tempting, to consume foods that satisfy our deep cravings for sugar and carbohydrates when they are readily available, convenient and inexpensive. Diet trends come and go, and extreme dietary changes are statistically difficult to maintain in the long term. But what if eating healthier doesn’t mean drastically changing our diets but rather keeping the fridge stocked with ferments packed with nutrition that we can reach for any time. That is the idea guiding “The Fermented Apothecary” series. We can bring the wisdom of generations of healers onto our plates at every meal through the accessible, inexpensive practice of fermenting with medicinal plants.

More specifically you will learn:

The power to heal ourselves with plants has been cultivated by humans throughout our history. Learn to use herbal medicine to bring bold flavor and deeper health benefits to your fermentation practice and food ways with Chef Helena del Pesco.

  • Basic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbalism

  • How to make lactoferments using salt, water, vegetables, herbs, spices and time

  • How to make kombucha infused with medicinal plants

  • Three recipes that can be modified to create your own variations

  • Easy ways to incorporate these ferments into your diet

Meet your intructor

Creator Bio:

Helena del Pesco is an independent chef, fermentation teacher, and small business creative consultant. Chef del Pesco honed her skills working in restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and traveling to create dinner events at restaurants, museums and art galleries in Mexico City, Oaxaca, San Juan Puerto Rico, Paris, Tel Aviv and San Sebastian, Spain where she worked in the kitchen of Arzak, a three-Michelin starred restaurant of international acclaim. Her restaurant, Larder, in Baltimore showcased locally grown produce, regenerative pastured meat and a fermentation-based menu. Her background in art, including a Masters in Fine Art from UC Berkeley, brings a sense of depth and aesthetic consideration to her food, while having grown up with her mother's whole-food cooking informs her in the principles of nutrition and quality ingredients. Each menu she creates draws on her experience of the cuisine of a diversity of cultures and is imbued with a reverence for nature. She celebrates food that brings stories to life through the ritual of sharing a meal.

Helena del Pesco


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