Dig Baton Rouge

That Ferment Life

Cultured Guru talks delicious food and gut health

Fermented foods may have started out as a food trend, but they are much more than that. Two Baton Rouge locals have made it their mission to inform people about the benefits of going fermented. Using their blog, they are teaching how fermented foods can be incorporated into meals using new and inventive recipes.

Owners Scott Chachere and Kaitlynn Fenley of Cultured Guru Fermented Foods began their business in 2016. Chachere received his degree from LSU in advertising and Fenley received hers in microbiology. The idea to start a fermented foods company initially began as a blog about the natural world of microbiology where Fenley wrote about the microbes she loved to study.

When they made the decision to start a business, Fenley knew she no longer wanted to be a clinical microbiologist and shared her idea with Chachere, who was immediately on board. The idea was to provide information about the need for microbes in our daily lives and how vital they are for gut health.

“One of the reasons we really wanted to start Cultured Guru was because there are so many people out there educating others on fermenting that aren’t going about it in the right way. There’s the attitude that it needs to taste a certain way, but you kind of need to put your taste aside and ferment for the microbes that are in the foods,” Chachere said.

All of the thoroughly researched information about fermenting can be found on their blog; so for anyone who has questions, the couple recommends starting there. In addition to the facts, Fenley shares recipes for meals she’s created using their products in inventive ways.

 

“What goes into our blog posts is actually what we want to eat. I have a very elaborate schedule because we’re not rich and we don’t have tons of money to make food on the side for Instagram and blogs,” Fenley said.“So, every two weeks I make a really long grocery list and I plan meals. I’ll start off with four or five ideas for dinner or lunch and I parse out the ingredients needed so we are able to go grocery shopping.”

Fenley explained they try to shop according to what foods they like, but also what’s seasonal and on trend.

“Lately it’s been endives, so I’ll try to come up with something that’s related to what people want to see and also things that are gut healthy.”

Since its start, Cultured Guru has made three fermented products—kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles. Every product is fermented in 30 gallon oak barrels in a commercial kitchen, which is the first and only of its kind in Louisiana. Fenley developed the barrel method herself through extensive research along with the recipes that took roughly six months to perfect.

As much as the research and process is important to the fermented foods, Fenley says she couldn’t do it without Chachere’s eye and the way he has shaped their brand. Thought has been put into every detail of packaging, color schemes, and photographs that make their foods look just as beautiful as they are delicious.

The couple says having a business together has been a challenge in many ways and obstacles come up daily, but their relationship has thrived from it.

“We weren’t really challenged in the work field post-college, and it left us feeling drained and unfulfilled. We problem solve together on a daily basis. It’s like our relationship and our business evolves together, which is pretty cool,” Fenley said.

Find Cultured Guru products at Alexander’s Highland Market, Southside Produce, Iverstine Farms Butcher Shop, Magpie Cafe, Our Daily Bread

The two have taken Cultured Guru to heights they never could have foreseen, and there is more to come. The most recent product they’ve produced is a home fermentation kit for anyone who wants to try to make their own fermented foods in the Cultured Guru fashion. The demand for their products is higher than what they can produce currently, but soon the couple will begin renovations in a warehouse for their Cultured Guru expansion.

For more information about Cultured Guru and their business, visit their blog at cultured.guru and follow their Instagram account.

Photos courtesy Cultured Guru

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