Natalie Rachel Morris is a WK Kellogg endowed fellow, food and culture scholar, sustainable food systems professor, and trained culinarian. She is the founder of the award-winning initiative Good Food Finder and is currently writing for Gastronomica, Edible Phoenix, and her own book Beans: A Global History (Reaktion Books).
An American child primarily raised on Dutch-Indonesian food, Natalie is a classically-trained culinarian with a Masters of Arts in Food Culture and Communications.
Upon graduation, she received an honorary WK Kellogg Fellowship on behalf of the Borderlands Food and Water Security program at the University of Arizona and established Good Food Finder. The state's only online directory featuring exclusively small-scale food producers, it is intended to simultaneously promote and economically sustain their businesses as well as capture Arizona’s agricultural and artisanal diversity. The project, which is now an initiative of Local First Arizona, currently boasts nearly 1000 producers and 4500 food items in its third year.
In 2011, Natalie combined her passion for food advocacy with storytelling and community connection. While working at Wicked Delicate Films for the creators of the documentary King Corn (PBS Independent Lens, 2008) and founders of FoodCorps, she organized the inaugural launch of the film-inspired national fleet of 20+ Truck Farms and corresponding annual school garden contest, managed press for the South by Southwest film The City Dark, and researched for Jennifer 8 Lee's short documentary, The Search for General Tso.
Since 2013, Natalie has been a professor of the core classes in the Sustainable Food Systems program at Mesa Community College, teaching a range of courses from Food and Culture to Organic Foods Production to Sustainable Cooking. She serves on the board for Slow Food Phoenix, is an active member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and sits on the committee for the Slow Food Southwest Ark of Taste helping to nominate, select and preserve foods and food traditions on the brink of extinction. Her writings have been featured in popular publications such as Edible Phoenix and AZ Wine Lifestyle, and as conservation success stories for the annual Chef's Collaborative conference and she often coordinates events or leads discussions on food and place, storytelling and narrative, and food systems. Her education and interests in food’s role in shaping our history and culture have taken her to Belgium, France, Greece, across Italy, Spain and into Morocco. She is a proud member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International and lives in the southwestern United States with her husband where she is the Director of Food Initiatives for Local First Arizona and the Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition and is finalizing her book Beans: A Global History as a part of the Edible Series (Reaktion Books: UK and University of Chicago Press: USA).