Heidi Nestler is the founder and owner of Wanpaku Natto in Portland, Oregon. She is one of only a handful of natto makers in North America producing the traditional Japanese soybean ferment commercially.
Heidi has been teaching classes in traditional and fermented foods since 2010 and for the past nine years, she has coordinated the nutrition program at the non-profit Quest Center for Integrative Health, in Portland, Oregon. Her emphasis is on helping clients build confidence and skills around simple, from-scratch cooking as part of their healing journey.
Heidi also is a health and wellness coach, as well as a personal chef for people on restricted diets.
As a co-organizer of the Portland Fermentation Festival, she has shared her natto and rice bran pickles for the past thirteen years. In 2016, Heidi founded Wanpaku Natto, to bring this traditional Japanese fermented soybean product to supermarket shelves. Wanpaku Natto is sold throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.
Heidi received her Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Friends World College. As part of her experiential learning she worked and studied in England and Belgium.
Heidi’s interest in traditional foods began 30 years ago when she moved to rural Japan and was captivated by the array of fermented foods she encountered there. She learned Japanese cooking mainly from the women around her and also through trying everything and developing a palate for the new flavors.
Upon returning to the United States, Heidi began in earnest to study world traditions of fermentation through workshops and a residency with Sandor Katz.
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