HandPicked People: Branden Byers

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As we’ve built up our community here at HandPicked Nation, we have met some truly incredible farmers, ranchers, makers and thinkers in the real food movement. Which prompted the thought, why not share a little more about the real people of real food with our readers?

Welcome to another addition of HandPicked People!

Branden Byers has a definite love for all things fermentated. He describes himself as:

… a fermentation generalist. I’m always down for fermenting something new. For me, this is all about taste and DIY fun. Health benefits are a welcome side-effect.

(from FermUp.com)

He hosts a weekly podcast, writes an entertaining blog, and takes some really terrific pictures — all about what happens when you let naturally occurring bacteria or yeast have some time to do their thing.

Branden is fairly new to HandPicked Nation, but he’s already shared a terrific recipe for a simple sauerkraut that anyone can master. We can’t wait to see what else “bubbles” up from Branden, but we’re certain it will be fun, delicious and very informative!

Name: Branden Byers

Occupation: Writer, Photographer & Podcast Host

Describe what you do in 10 words or less. I share my excitement for fermented foods with the world.

Describe real food in one sentence. Real food, for me, is food that I could figure out how to prepare or grow without the need for heavy machinery, an automated production line or a team of food scientists.

What’s your first food memory? Nothing memorable. My first memory is probably plain pasta with butter, hot dogs or fish sticks.

If you were a food or flavor, what would you be? Umami!

What are the 5 food things you must always have on hand? Salt, lard, fish sauce, fermented vegetables and heirloom yogurt.

What is the one professional rule you NEVER break? Authenticity. How could I talk about real food if I’m not honest and real myself?

What’s going to be be your next meal? I tend to throw together a lot of non-traditional stir-fry dishes with whatever I have on hand. As I mentally catalog what is in the kitchen…today will probably be a mix of chickpeas, bacon, sauerkraut, fish sauce, fermented pepper paste, oregano, preserved lemon and homemade cheese curd crumbles either mixed with or on a bed of rice.

Did we miss anything? Let us know what kinds of questions you want us to ask in the comments below!