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Welcome To The 
Microbial Gastronomy Program

Microbes in Food!


The Society of Symbionts is excited to offer our Microbial Gastronomy Program where we introduce students to the exciting world of microbes in foods and beverages and the gut microbiome they end up in! Gastronomy is the practice or art of choosing, preparing, eating good food and drinking delicious beverages, and we do it with a microbial twist! Microbes are key to many processes when it comes to food and drink, both in the creation of it and in the processing of it. In our program, students learn all the exciting ways that microbes impact all living things that must ingest and digest nutrients to survive and thrive. We will explore culinary masterpieces in workshops where we prepare dishes and drinks that delight and can also improve health with our famous international Chef, Fermé Brewer!

Enrolled microbial students from our program have gone on to create outstanding meads, wines and beer, cheese, delectable mushrooms and the best pastries and breads in the world! They have also helped improved the gut microbiomes of their hosts, improving both physical and mental health and fighting off disease! They have even found ways to help change and improve how ingredients are produced (although, some have also gone on to be quite destructive, but we can learn from them too!) The possibilities for future careers are endless – every human, plant, animal, fungi, bacteria on the planet (and even other planets) all need to eat – the Microbial Gastronomy program explores all of the ways microbes can be an exciting part of the creation, consumption and digestion of all types of nutrients critical to all life!

Our students will have an entire culinary experience from field trips to exciting microbial sites to cooking in our state-of-the-art kitchen with Chef Fermé! Our professional staff and guest experts will focus on the important roles microbes play in the world of food and drink and explore the wonder of how the smallest things play the largest part in the course of digestive life. The school of Microbial Gastronomy unveils the mysteries of the preparation of microbial ingredients into an infinite variety of tastes and textures. Students will have hands-and-taste-buds-on experience with all sorts of food and beverages, preparing and tasting creations from all over the world discovering just what a role microbes in food play in host nutrition!

examples of microbes in food like chaga tea

Coursework study includes:

  • Gut Microbiomes – Digestive tracts can contain trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. These microbes can aid in or cause issues with digestion and are closely linked to the health and well-being of their host. We will study this fascinating microbial environment and learn how it affects its host.

  • Fermented Food and Drinks – The chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, which typically involves effervescence and the giving off of heat. Students will see fermentation in action as we observe it in the making of beer, wine, mead, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and more!

  • Nutrition 101 – The biochemical and physiological processes by which an organism uses to survive, this includes ingestion, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, and excretion.

  • Culinary Microbial Adventures – Cooking with microbes in creative ways in our state-of-the-art kitchen including InstantPot, food dehydrator, and other fun kitchen appliances and tools allows students to really stretch their culinary creativity – and we get to eat what we make!

Bon Appetite

Introducing: Chef Fermé Brewer

We are very excited to have international culinary expertise join us here at the Society of Symbionts. Chef Fermé loves all things microbial and gastronomical. He is a descendant  of the first discovered fermenters in Egypt (he can trace his family tree all the way back to wines found in Scorpions tomb!). Chef is passionate about fermenting and baking with microbes and then how the microbes interact with the gut microbiome of the organism that ingested them. His favorite quote is one from human chef Julia Child -

"No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."


We hope you’ll join us at the Microbial Gastronomy Program where we will DO and experience the wonderful world of culinary microbes!

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