future food agency
future food agency
We detail designs for a future in which everyone has enough good food to eat, and planets are nourished, not ravaged, to produce it. The plural refers to earth and mars and wherever else we may someday find ourselves dining.
The Toronto Office Markets was our first experiment (on planet earth). It ran for 18 months from 2011 to 2012. Our second initiative was the Future Food Salon. The first series Tenebrio Molitor explored the possibilities of meal worms as a future food through the use of opera, invention and talk.
The series "Crickets on the Tip of my Tongue", the second Future Food Salon series, was a multimedia collaboration of happenings and tastings that toured Toronto, New York, Austin, and Montreal. The Third and Fourth series are in research and development and explore the possibilities of fungi, algae and cultured foods.
The Toronto Office Markets led us to an appreciation of a lack of commercial kitchen space, and so we run the Hot Kitchens initiative including listings to help food start-ups find commercial kitchens that rent by the hour.
At Alimentary we've collaborated with museums and galleries, like the Montreal’s Space for Life Insectarium with whom we co-hosted North America's first international conference on edible insects, Eating Innovation Conference: the art, culture, science and business of entomophagy. We've worked with single proprietor food start-ups who joined the Toronto Office Markets, selling locally grown produce or regionally made cheeses. We collaborate with artists and writers, architects and inventors, scientists, sociologists, musicians, farmers and chefs. We'd love to hear from you.
About the image:
I love this image. To me, it holds promise in its folds. I love foods that are wrapped and that need revealing. Little presents are ravioli, spring rolls, vine rolls, samosas…happily, the list goes on and on. I love the surprise that's hidden from view by the wrapper; the delight of opening it or biting in; the excitement of the contrasting textures, temperatures, and tastes of the contents and the shell. I am convinced that food tastes better when it is treasured, and wrapped things feel like treasures to me. The image is a detail of a sculpture called Chrysalis by artists Marjan Verstappen and Han Zhang. The piece was the anchoring artwork of the Discovery Gallery exhibition at the Eating Innovation 2014, a conference and set of gatherings which explored the art, culture, science and business of entomophagy. More images of the sculpture and of the conference are available here.
(photo: Han Zhang 2014. Detail of Chrysalis, by Marjan Verstappen & Han Zhang.)
ARUNA ANTONELLA HANDA, PhD
Dr. Aruna Antonella Handa is the founder of Alimentary. A writer, cook, theatre artist, and musician, Handa holds a doctorate in philosophy and loves when her work allows her to draw on all these interests. Her recent works, the collaborative Future Food Salons, are a series of multimedia happenings that have toured Toronto, New York, Austin and Montreal tearing down fourth walls by inviting guests to collaborate in the exploration of the future of food. Currently, Handa is completing a song cycle on addiction, and researching fungi, algae, and cultured foods for the next Future Food Salon series.
Handa has worked in restaurant and catering kitchens though she still credits her family and especially her mother among her most important culinary influences. Of Italian and Indian heritage, Handa was born in Canada and traveled extensively as a child, creating memories of aromas and flavours, which she has spent her adulthood chasing and attempting to recreate. Her son’s multiple life-threatening food allergies honed her skills catering to special diets, and she is putting the final touches on her first cookbook, Cooking for Noah, written for people cooking for people with multiple, severe food allergies.