Piet 'Gees' Marais
Piet’s love for cooking started at an early age, fishing, foraging and hunting with his parents. Naturally, this cultivated a love for outdoor cooking and a deep seeded respect for nature and ingredients. Piet studied to be a chef at the ICA and then broadened his experience abroad, cooking professionally and travelling through Africa, Thailand, China, Western Europe and the UK. Eventually making his way back to South Africa, Piet then got involved in organic product manufacturing at Santa Anna’s while developing the art of hot-smoking and cooking on fire. Piet was also the proud winner of South Africa’s Ultimate Braai Master in 2015. His fermented journey has taken exposed him to sourdough, charcuterie and lacto fermented fruits and vegetables.
Murray has been managing, building and owning bars and restaurants in London and South Africa for the last 12 years. His love for good food and beverages combined with his passion story telling through writing, podcast and video has inspired him to found fermented to celebrate and educate on all things fermented , and to create a podium for local entrepreneurs to showcase their stories and products.
If I were to describe myself using one word, it would without a doubt be a “foodie”. My curiosity for the whimsical world that we live in and passion for science lead me to do my undergrad in food science at Stellenbosch University. My studies dived into the world of food, from primary agriculture through to bacteria in your kitchen. My honors year included designing fermented product that wasn’t a beverage. It was here that I found my passion for the lesser-known world of fermentation. I went onto venture into the beer industry after studying, to broaden my knowledge on all things fermented. I am currently furthering my studies, specializing in agricultural economics. My area of study essentially challenges us as co inhabitants of this earth to rethink the way we farm and cook. Fermented foods and the microorganisms responsible for the process play a significant role in us establishing a symbiotic relationship with our environment and in us restoring relationships with our mind and body. Sharing this knowledge and my passion with others is what gets drives me!
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