Food safety is a frequent topic here at Root. We start every day with hand washing and sanitizing our kitchen stations to make sure the food we are preparing is safe to consume. A great way to demonstrate how bacteria or yeast (both good and bad) work is to show our students how bread dough rises or how lacto-fermentation works.

In class, we are making a hot sauce using organic chilies from Land's Sake farm and fermenting them with lots of garlic. This process allows good bacteria in, which raises the PH balance of the brine, thus preventing harmful bacteria from spoiling our product. By seeing, smelling, and tasting, our students get a better understanding of how bacteria and yeast work. By preventing the bad, we keep people safe, by elevating the good we keep people happy.


Chef Sam’s Hot Pepper Sauce
2 lbs. red hot chili peppers
½ lb. garlic
¾ lb. red tomatoes
1 cup white vinegar
¼ cup salt
¼ cup sugar

Add the chilis, garlic, and tomatoes to a sauce pot and simmer until ingredients are soft. Puree mixture, in small batches, then return to sauce pot. Simmer the pureed mixture on low until thick. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 more minutes. Refrigerate once cooled, or process as desired.

Scott Knox