Root is fueled by founder Dr. Julia Skinner’s passion for fermentation, history, and community. My goal is to create a dynamic space that strengthens our connections to our food and to each other with:
Workshops, private classes, events, custom recipes, food waste reduction coaching, and more.
I specialize in engaging, hands-on classes to connect you to your food and to the past in new and exciting ways. These include storytelling through food, connecting to place and memories with fermentation, fermentation and mindfulness, connecting to history in the kitchen, as well as hand-on fermentation skill building classes.
I also offer talks, seminars, and workshops, and love to be part of sustainability-focused events, pop-up dinners, and even researching historic dishes for weddings and private dinners!
Community support and interpersonal connections are at the core of my mission. I love helping students and clients think about food through a community lens, as well as being a part of community-focused events. Since 2018, Root has awarded over 50 fermentation class scholarships, and donated or raised thousands of dollars for food justice, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ equity causes. I regularly donate raffle items and ferments to community organizations, and teach food waste reduction in community gardens and food deserts.
I help creative professionals across industries use food to bring their visions to life.
So many times, the food on a set or in a story is an afterthought, but highlighting foods that are historically accurate or chosen to reflect the world you’re building helps to deepen and strengthen the narrative and connect your readers or viewers more deeply to your work.
I love flexing my own creative muscles and research skills to help you make your dreams their best!
My inbox is open! Please contact me at this link
Who is Root for?
I address practical issues in kitchens by teaching chefs how to use fermentation and other techniques to reduce food waste. I also support the creative side of culinary work through conceptualizing and researching historic dishes, providing fermentation training, and offering research and writing services.
I support writers’ projects by offering meticulous food history and fermentation research, and have served as a source in many local and national publications.
I provide research and on-site services, including conceptualizing and creating historically-appropriate foods, offering set dec for food-related spaces (kitchen, dining area, etc)., and providing research services.
I work on projects set in the future and modern day as well as the past, and use my training to inform realistic, meticulously researched results (e.g. consulting on low-tech, historical preparation methods for a post-apocalyptic film).
I have over a decade of experience in libraries and museums, doing everything from directing a museum to conceptualizing and curating exhibits, programming, artifact-centric teaching, and in-depth research. I am proud to still be involved in cultural heritage work and to help my colleagues make their exhibits and programs a success.
I love to teach brand new and seasoned cooks alike! I offer fermentation and food history workshops, individual and small group cooking classes, and private chef services for your home meals and special events.
Examining your subject area through food opens up new depths of understanding and a rich appreciation of the past and present. I provide research services that serve as a complement to your work, for example by taking larger social and geographic information about the communities you are studying, and using it to help you understand what was being eaten, how it was prepared, and how you can approximate it at home.
I assist with events large and small, including weddings, private and corporate parties, and more. I help event planners engage in storytelling through food with local and wild dishes, custom-designed fermented foods and recipes, or historic dishes to fit the event’s theme.
I also help with recreating historic settings, and with conceptualizing fantasy foods (for example, a mead from the lost island of Atlantis) as well as strictly historical ones.
Don’t see yourself listed here? Don’t worry!
I love being a part of projects I haven’t even dreamed of, and would love to hear from you and discuss how I might support your ideas.
What People are Saying
“In the modern glut of recipes and cooking sites, Root not only offers delicious recipes and interesting historical knowledge – it constantly reminds me how integral cooking is to our sense of humanity. Everything – every era, every culture, every family – is defined by its own foods while we are connected as the cooking species. Root is more than recipes; it re-infuses the kitchen, the pantry, and the dinner table with meaning.” – Kimmy Coburn, The Homestead Atlanta
“My favorite part of being a chef is the communion that it affords, drawing different peoples, cultures and life experiences together in a celebration of flavor. Root provides an opportunity to connect not only to each other, but to our collective and individual histories, and in doing so we find something much more than just a meal on a plate: we find ourselves.” -Danielle Holliday, chef
“Root demonstrates Julia Skinner’s ability to bring people together through her infectious enthusiasm about food. This merged with her ability to make food history relevant and accessible will bring people together over reimaginings of long-forgotten dishes.”-Katie Lapp, teacher
“Julia Skinner has a bit of the mad scientist about her, because she is fearless in her enjoyment and exploration of food and its history. I have many times looked for her footprints to guide me through strange places.” -John Ira Thomas, author and publisher for Candle Light Press
“I’ve been a student in two of your classes (fermentation 101, mead making) and I wanted to share how much I have enjoyed them and meeting you! You’re very genuine. I like that you emphasize anyone can make food fermentations and meads, and even experiment with flavors and process, without it being an overwhelming experiment–no fancy equipment needed, no precise measuring or timing needed, no extensive knowledge required to start, etc. This vibe has led me to get creative and daring with my fermentation projects when the research I had done prior to your class had me intimidating and afraid of ‘messing up’ or somehow poisoning myself/others. I’m grateful for the ferment empowerment, which I am also now sharing with friends and family. It’s a great feeling to be able to expand peoples’ minds when it comes to ferment safety, practicality/easiness, and taste adventure potential.” -Veronica, Atlanta resident
Root and its founder, Julia Skinner, have been featured in local, national, and international press, including Business Insider, Buzzfeed, Eater, Savor, Vox, Saveur, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, Atlantan Magazine, and more.
I regularly collaborate with some of the best in the field, including Sandor Katz, Mallory O’Donnell, Cultures Group, and more. Check out our events page to see some past and current collaborations!