Kinetic Ferment Co. officially launched in Chicago in 2016, but owner and chef Michael Lunsford’s passion for the sour and salty funk of fermented foods is a culmination of decades of professional kitchen experience in and around his native Washington DC. Shortly after their cross country move, chef Michael, along with his business partner and wife, Valerie, rented space in a local shared kitchen, and they began turning dreams into reality. The past two summers, umami-enthusiasts have had the opportunity to purchase small-batch beverages, condiments, miso, raw vinegar, koji, kimchi and other seasonal fermented produce at Kinetic Ferment Co.’s booth at the Wicker Park Farmers Market. In response to growing consumer interest in the unique flavors of fermented products, chef Michael also currently consults for several Chicago area restaurants. With a reverence for responsibly sourced Midwestern produce and an enthusiasm for sharing their culinary adventures, the duo eventually plans to open their own shop, with space for ferment-focused dining, retail, and community education.