Natalie Morris was a Slow Foodie by pure instinct.
During culinary school at the Art Institute, the budding chef hadn't heard about the global movement to eat seasonal, local food, but she immediately recognized a key issue:
"'Why do we have to keep ordering food from one big company? It's not even in season,'" she recalls.
Then, two years ago, she got a postion as a prep cook at Quiessence, where executive chef Greg LaPrad taught her about Slow Food. Morris went on to work for Arcadia Farms, Mosaic, and Edible Phoenix magazine. Nowadays, she works with Community Food Connections, the non-profit behind the Phoenix Public Market.
But soon, Morris will be heading to Italy to pursue a gourmet academic dream -- getting a master's degree in food culture and communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in the city of Bra. She's one of only 50 candidates selected for the one-year program, which is affiliated with Slow Food International.