Rhubarb Soda

Bottle conditioned sodas are a thing of the past. So much so that we’ve forgotten how to make our own. Here is a refreshing recipe created at The Culinary Vegetable Institute using extra Rhubarb. The final product is a delicious naturally carbonated beverage with a sophisticated mouthfeel. If you have the means to make this soda and enjoy the tart dry flavors of Rhubarb, follow this recipe below. But before getting too excited about the soda, please make sure to watch the short video about what’s behind The Chef’s Garden’s fantastic Rhubarb!!


Chef’s Garden Rhubarb– 10-12 stalks. 600 ml juice
Chef’s Garden raw honey 50 ml
1 tsp Some kind of culture– you can use sauerkraut juice. I used powdered buttermilk culture called lactococcus lactis from cheesemaking.com
1/16 tsp champagne yeast
1/4 t citric acid
a demijohn, an airlock, a funnel and swing-top bottles.

What to Do:

Juice the rhubarb to 600 ml. It took me approximately 10 – 12 stalks. Be sure to peel outer skin for the sake of the juicer.
Strain the rhubarb through a chinoise.
Add the honey and stir until dissolved. The sugars will be digested to create the carbonation. you want to start with a much sweeter base than you would like in the final product.
Add your cultures to the base temperate of 90 degree F. Allow to hydrate on the surface for a minute or so before incorporating.
Pour the “juice” into a sterilized demijohn and add your airlock.

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Let it sit for about three days, and taste it. There are some variables– the temperature of the room, the strength of the culture you used, etc. Taste it and let it ferment until it’s only a little sweeter than you would like it to be. Pour it into your swing-top bottles, and store in the fridge.

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You could leave them out at room temperature if you’d like to drink them sooner, but I usually pop them into the fridge to slow down the fermentation process. You will want to drink them within a week, or risk losing most of your Rhubarb Soda to the “geyser effect.” The soda will get drier, more tart and fizzier the longer you wait.


Do not try this at home! Staring contest between you and the soda won’t help speeding up the process!!! Ohhhhh Jamie!!!


How to Cure a Sardine

Chef Jamie Simpson’s Cured Sardines

This recipe is very important to me because Sardines are one of the most unappreciated fish in the ocean, yet delicious! Sardines are highlighted on NY Times list of the 11 Best Food You Aren’t Eating. They are high in nutrition, support cardiovascular and bone health, are low in calories and GI and their sustainable. The United States Pacific Sardine fishery is not over-fished because consumers are focusing on larger fish such as salmon, which uses at least three pounds foraged fish to get  one pound of salmon. In order for us to keep the balance in the ocean we need to concentrate what to harvest, what to consume and educate each other about sustainability. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed making it!

Cheers, Jamie

Cured Sardine

Ice water
Sharp knife
Small cutting board
Lint free towels

With a sharp knife, eviscerate the sardines from the belly to the gills. Remove contents of the stomach cavity gently, being careful not to rupture any organs and reserve. Wash the empty cavity of the sardine thoroughly. Make three clean cuts, two behind the gills on either side, then cut either side of the top fin and pull it out (this will make removing bones a little easier), and from the belly to the tail on the underside. Cut back the fillets from the belly, working your way up toward the back, being careful not to damage the flesh or the skin. Snip the spine at the base of the tail and gently pull it away from the fillets starting at the tail. This will help remove a good portion of the pin bones that you won’t have to do later. When you get the fillets removed from the spine and head, open the butterfly, clean your cutting board, and get out your tweezers. The two fillets should be attached by the back skin with the tail on. Carefully remove every pin bone in the fillets (there are three rows on each, one sub dermal row and two rows on either side of the loin). This is the most time consuming step of the process but in the end, it is well worth the effort.

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Carefully rinse the fillets in ice water and dry.

For the Cure:
Cure for 10 minutes with the buried skin side up in the salt sugar mixture.
Sea salt: 80%
Sugar: 20%


Carefully rinse the fillets in ice water.

Brine: 13 minutes submerged
White Balsamic vinegar: 70%
Sherry vinegar: 20%
Distilled water: 10%
Sugar: depending on the sweetness of your vinegar’s
salt: to taste, for balance


Carefully rinse the fillets in ice water.

Cure: 3 minutes buried skin side up
salt: 80%
sugar: 20%

Gently rinse the fillets in ice water.

Olive oil: Trentino imperiale extra virgin olive oil







Cryovac on high with a single smashed garlic clove per every five fish, and with enough olive oil to bury.
Refrigerate and reserve for later use.



To plate:

pickled mustard seeds
bitter lemon puree
squid ink mustard
whole grain mustard
steamed egg white
castelvetrano olive
preserved egg yolk
fried caper
pickled cucumber