Hi, I'm Ben —
I grew up in Washington D.C. eating fermented foods in Korean restaurants and Jewish delis. My mom is a passionate cook who owned a noodle restaurant in Seoul. Watching her make kimchi and brew kombucha at home, I grew an appreciation for fermentables, probiotics, and food in general. I moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas where I graduated with a degree in Biology. I learned about global food systems and the slow food movement from professor Raj Patel. During my time in college I started brewing kombucha and reading cookbooks. I decided to apply at Freedmen's Barbecue where I got to cook under the guidance of Pitmaster Evan LeRoy. Later, I worked at Launderette for Chef Fermin Nunez where I learned new techniques and flavor profiles. I then worked for two years at Juniper. As Fermentation Director, I used local products extensively to do research and development for their menu. I now consult with LeRoy and Lewis. I make kimchi, hot sauce and pickles to pair with their "new school" barbecue. My business Casper Fermentables pops-up weekly at the SFC farmer's market downtown selling an assortment of fermented food and beverages such as kimchi, kombucha, and probiotic vinegars. We sell our kombucha at stores in and around Austin.