Recruiting Adam James as a supplier was the moment when I knew that Condimental was actually worth setting up.
I first tasted his ferments at a guest dinner he hosted at The Dolphin, and vividly remember how they turned an incredibly simple dish of raw vegetables into one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten.
Just like most Tasmanians, Adam is a thoughtful and quiet guy with a wild side. He thrives on outdoor adventures and a and he holds a totally independent approach to his craft. He was awarded the prestigious Churchill Fellowship in 2017 where he spent eight weeks across nooks and crannies of the Jura, Emilia-Romagna, Korea, Japan and China to study under experts of fermentation. His recipes are a wild mix of all of these influences (combined with all the amazing produce of Tasmania), with the mantra ‘Flavour First’.
If you’ve tasted his Tomatillo Koji Salsa Picante, you’ll appreciate how complex and funky the mix is - no vinegars, stabilisers or sugars used, so it’s ALIVE. The blended tomatillos were left to age for about 7 months before they were blended with ‘The Mothership’ chili (see below for photos), and inoculated with Koji. I chose it for the box as it’s an exciting challenge for those who may not be familiar with Koji / Ferments whilst being versatile enough to throw in dressings, on tacos or in pastas. Even Bloody Marys…
I paid Adam a visit earlier in January to see first-hand how his ferments are made. We grabbed chopsticks and tasted about 20 different ferments straight from the crocks.
We’ll definitely see more of his ferments in a future Condimental box. In the meantime, get inspired to try your own ferments at home, and check out Rough Rice’s social media to stay across his latest masterpieces.