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.