by Tina Fogall, DERU’s Food Sourcing Manager
My life at work is in many ways an extension of home. It is filled with people that I love like family, great food, and a sense of responsibility to the community and the planet. The difference is, at DERU, we are feeding far more people and have a greater impact on the world.
Every day at work is different but revolves around finding the most beautiful, responsibly produced, and local food that I can find. I geek out about seeing the whole process. A seed is placed in the earth, the seed grows, the farmers nurture and then harvest, the chefs prepare and then I (we) eat. There is much more that goes into the process, but you get the idea. While I mostly get to see the product after harvest, the work up to that point is just as important as the work after.
On any given day, I meet with the chefs to discuss menu items, seasonal produce availability, the chefs’ whims, and changing the world (yes, we want to change the world). I also spend time with staff educating them on new items and farms. Its important for the staff to understand the work and love that goes into growing so that they can carry the same enthusiasm to its final destination: the plate. Then, I head to a farmers market to shop for ingredients, meet farmers and their apprentices, and get a good pulse of the coming and going in our real food world. My time is also dedicated to visiting farms and meeting the farmers on their soil to see how and what they grow. The true passion of the farmer shines. The whole DERU Crew recently got to hear Farmer Ryan of Steel Wheel Farm talk fervently about soil and it was so moving to see his dedication to what he does.
I’m lucky I get to do what I do and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do it. My heart and soul have never been this engaged in a work endeavor and I look forward to the future of food at DERU.
Follow my adventures on Instagram @derugetslocal
DERU FOOD SOURCING MANAGER