Food News

The City of Ate Interview: Whole Foods "Forager" Natasha Calvert on Buying Local for a Living

Natasha Calvert is originally from Denver, and began working at Whole Foods in 2006. She recently moved to Texas, where she's a "forager" for local products, traveling around meeting purveyors, producers, growers, ranchers and the occasional chicken. Then she helps bring those products to the store's shelves. Here's how she does it, and how she got there.

When you think of your childhood in a culinary sense, what comes to mind? I grew up in a large family where cooking was a strong tradition. Every Sunday we'd have a large dinner, and my mother would make homemade cinnamon rolls. I have over 20 cousins on each side, and we'd have very large dinners together. So, from a very early age, I was exposed to from-scratch cooking. I learned you can really make anything from scratch.

In college I continued to explore cooking concepts and ideas. I've always taken a lot of cooking classes. Then a Whole Foods opened in Boulder and I fell in love with the store.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.