Octopus Alchemy Workshops / Talks

Explaining digestive tonics @ Silo, Brighton.

Explaining digestive tonics @ Silo, Brighton.

Octopus Alchemy uses traditional food knowledge and preparation as a platform to empower people around health and to raise consciousness on the failures of the global food economy and the unnecessary suffering perpetuated by the current socio-economic system in general.

In our interactive workshops, we place equal emphasis on the politics as well as pragmatics of traditional processes, such as fermentation – we believe that popular reconnection with such methods is a radical act that has effects beyond our individual kitchens; into wider cultural, political and environmental realms.

Our intentions are to empower workshop participants in creating living, healing foods that nourish the gut and that help initiate an interest in practices that foster more resilient health and better cognition.

Our politics are to encourage an awareness of the consequences of the profit motive in our food economy for the well being of our animals, health of our communities and the integrity of our ecology. And also to highlight how the dominance of western medicine and reductive conceptualisations of the body and disease processes cause and perpetuate real harm in society.

Sauerkraut making @ The FoodShed, Brighton.

Sauerkraut making @ The FoodShed, Brighton.

Our philosophy overall is to emphasise the ‘gut as centre’ in our lives – in that, acting in ways to properly nourish the gut necessitates a revival of nourishing traditions and practices that are both individually sustaining and ecologically sustainable.

Participants of our workshops leave with a critical perspective on food and health in the context of contemporary society and develop a tool box of their own to revive traditions of creating living, vibrant food in their own kitchen; to nourish and impact change in themselves, their families and communities

We offer a range of styles and approaches to workshop delivery and presentations and welcome offers, discussion and invites of collaboration across academia, community projects, artists, the media, food establishments and so on.

Octopus Alchemy are running fermentation workshops at Silo in Brighton on the following dates (click for further details and booking).

Sunday, January 10th 2016

Sunday, March 13th 2016

Sunday, April 10th 2016

Sunday, May 15th 2016

Sunday, June 12th 2016

To keep up to date on our calender of workshops, please visit our facebook page. Otherwise, feel free to email us at octopusalchemy@gmail.com to be added to our mailing list.

What people have said about Octopus Alchemy workshops.

The evening was excellent Darren! I would encourage anyone who is concerned about the food ‘industry’ and our disconnect from our food sources to come along and hear your inspiring talk about the seriously detrimental effect of eating what passes for ‘food’ in our society, and how we have got to this state. The hands-on demonstration making sauerkraut was great fun, and the tastings of fermented beetroot, kimchi and nut cheese (all delicious!) left me wanting to make all of these as soon as possible! Up until now I’ve resisted making my own fermented foods out of fear of ‘getting it wrong’, but your demonstrations have reassured me there’s nothing to be scared of! It was also great to hear from Old Tree Brewery, and to come away with a jar of kefir to make my own water kefir. An inspiring evening, and I wholeheartedly recommend anyone who is even mildly curious about fermentation to attend one of Octopus Alchemy’s workshop very soon!’

‘You said that you were there to radicalise – and you did! I have started making more wild ferments, and have introduced fermented foods into my diet every day.’

‘I attended the ‘Fermentation Workshop’ in Brighton and I’m so pleased I did! It was a great experience: listening to a fab talk by Darren, that outlined the importance of fermentation and food in our lives, in a practical and holistic sense. It was educational and very interesting. The practical part of the workshop was fun, and I’ve come away knowing how to start incorporating ferments into my diet. Thanks Darren! :)’

Fermentation and food-politics at the 'Foodshed' in Brighton.

Fermentation and food-politics at the ‘Foodshed’ in Brighton.

‘Darren’s passion and drive, well researched topic, the intimate and homely setting, central location, small numbers…just wish we had had the chance to try a few more ferments. Hopefully next time! Thanks again Darren – your’e a star!’

I loved Darren’s workshop—he gave loads of practical advice on how to start incorporating fermented food regularly into your diet, and lots of tips for future recipes (I’ve since had a successful experiment with kimchi!). Darren’s also an encyclopaedia of nutritional advice, so I have a much better grasp of why fermented food is such an important part of a healthy diet. Very empowering—strongly recommend!

Kiron, Brighton.

Darren’s workshop really exceeded my expectations. He really blew me away with his knowledge and passion about food, health, and fermentation. I felt like not only did I get to leave with my own homemade sauerkraut, but that I had a new perspective on some food processes and their pros and cons as well. Would defo recommend his workshops as it was such a fun alternative experience with such a lovely company.

Sabina, Brighton.


Smiling with sauerkraut.

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