AUG 14, 2013
Slides & Stills


Centre for Social Innovation Starrett-Lehigh
Chelsea, Manhattan

AUGUST 14, 2013


The Future Food Salon Series is an arts-soaked celebration of food that explores with enthusiasm what we will be eating in the future. The atmosphere is decidedly unstuffy. Beautiful cocktails, mead, craft beers and wines complement the canapés and sweets, while music and art add texture to the talk. 

At Alimentary Initiatives and the Culture of Cities Centre, we are excited about the future of food. Too much discussion about the future of food focuses on doom and gloom. The Future Food Salon Series is designed to lay the foundation for discussion and action in identifying, disseminating and celebrating innovative options for feeding future generations.

The Future Food Salons are hosted by the Future Food Salon Group, under the direction of Dr. Aruna Antonella Handa of Alimentary Initiatives and Dr. Elke Grenzer of the Culture of Cities Centre.

To date, future food salons have been held in

Toronto (Dec 2011, April 2013)
New York (Aug 2013)
Austin (Feb 2014)
Montreal (Aug 2014)

Related events hosted by the Future Food Salon Group include:
Beer and Bugs (Toronto, Oct 2013)
The Big Bang Bug Banquet held in Montreal (Aug 2014)
The Eating Innovation Conference: the art, culture, science and business of entomophagy (August 2014).
Banquet of Bugs NY (Nov 2015)
NY Eats Bugs (Nov 2015)

By creating cultural events that combine talk, music, art installations and also food and drink, the series permits engagement with the topic of the future of food in an environment that is itself innovative. This creative space invites spontaneous connections with the cutting edge of research in technology, food and the arts.

The salons attract those with a professed or secret interest in the future, in food and in the urban built environment. Some come because they are curious about all things culinary. Others come because they are interested in food security and environmental sustainability issues. Still others attend for the cultural experience of the Salon atmosphere.

Final Event in this series
The final events in the Cricket series took place Saturday November 21, 2015 at The Explorers Club in New York. The next series launches in 2017 and will explore fungi, algae and cultured foods.

Please contact us for sponsorship options or partnership opportunities for the next Future Food Salon series, which launches in 2017. Interested in collaborating? Please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.  

The Salon Series hosts are Aruna ANTONELLA Handa of Alimentary Initiatives and Elke Grenzer of the Culture of Cities Centre.


Aruna Antonella Handa, PhD

Aruna Antonella Handa is most comfortable operating in that space where theory and practice collide. Her innovative initiatives are research-based, drawing on her doctorate in philosophy, her experiences as a theatre director, musician and curator, her extensive travel, and her diverse work in food. In the Future Food Salon Series, Handa realizes her various interests—music, food and philosophy— to engage audiences to contemplate and taste the food of the future.

Handa is the Founder and Principal of Alimentary Initiatives, a company cultivating food culture in the private sector and in public arenas. The Toronto Office Markets initiative piloted in 2011-12 sought to address the distribution issue faced by local food producers shut out of the supermarket chains. Alimentary’s newest initiative, The Taste Lab, is an innovative cultural experience for companies seeking team-building and employee rewards. Currently, as co-director of the Future Food Salon Group, Handa along with co-director Elke Grenzer is convening Eating Innovation: the art, culture, science and business of entomophagy in collaboration with Montreal's Space for Life.

Handa has appeared on national and international broadcast and in print media, including National Public Radio, CTV News, CBC News, and the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet. Her work has been reviewed in local, national and international press.



Elke Grenzer, PhD

Elke Grenzer, Director of the Culture of Cities Centre, is a new breed of entrepreneur. Her work on the built environment spans academic research, documentary film-making, cultural event curating, teaching, consulting and writing in a variety of media. She is a cultural entrepreneur: one who combines deep and well researched interests with a desire to build audiences across sectors, disciplines and social classes in order to create a workable new dynamic for social change.

Operating in the rarefied ether between the academy and what academics sometimes derisively refer to as “the real world”, she translates seemingly irreconcilable realms to create new audiences and activate new publics in a culture of innovation.

In her thirteen years with the Centre she has engaged health and cultural professionals, activists and social entrepreneurs through conferences and events in North America and Europe. Motivated by her work on the Centre's six-year research initiative City Life and Well-Being, she served as Vice-President and original signatory of the national charity The Patients’ Association of Canada, 2009-2012. Her research on cities focuses on how artists and architects help reshape collective understandings of the past through public spaces in order to influence new ways of thinking and acting.