Future Food Salons


Future Food Salons

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.




About the Future Food Salon Group

About the Future Food Salon Group

The Future Food Salon Group emerged from an interest to examine and taste what we may be eating in the future. Group members are committed to the idea that such an examination is best accomplished in the context of a diverse group of people including artists, inventors, chefs, investors and culture-thinkers. Motivating this impulse is the recognition that the current food system and choices are not sustainable for a growing global population and a finite planet.

The Salons were started in 2011 by Dr. Aruna Antonella Handa of Alimentary Initiatives to invite the general public to sample and discuss the future of food in an arts-soaked setting. In 2012, Dr. Elke Grenzer of the Culture of Cities Centre joined Handa to co-host the Salons.

The current members of the Future Food Salon Group are:

Dr Aruna Antonella Handa, Alimentary Initiatives, Toronto (Director)
Mr Jakub Dzamba, Third Millennium Farming, Toronto (Farming Technologies Director)
Mr David Gracer, Small Stock Food Strategies, Rhode Island (Strategic Partnerships Director & Curator of     Gracer Entomophagy Collection)
Dr Elke Grenzer, Culture of Cities Centre, Toronto
Ms Natalia "Cookie" Martinez, Cookie Martinez, Toronto (Culinary Director)
Mr Louis N. Sorkin, B.C.E. American Museum of Natural History & Entsult Associates, New York (Science Director)
Ms Han Zhang, Han Studio, Toronto (Artistic Director)

The current Salon series features edible crickets, with Salons so far in Toronto, New York City and Austin, Texas and Montreal, and banquets in Montreal and at The Explorers Club in New York.  Group members both consult and give talks on entomophagy using a variety of materials and methods, from cookery demonstrations to lectures, from Salons to Tastings, from art installations to museum exhibitions. Eating Innovation: the art, culture, science and business of entomophagyis the latest initiative by the group and was undertaken in collaboration with the Montreal Space for Life Insectarium. The three day conference, the first on edible insects in North America took place August 26-28, 2014. The next series of Future Food Salons launches in fall of 2016.


Reviews and coverage of the Future Food Salon Group’s work:

The National Post (Aug 8/14)
Bien dans son assiette, Radio Canada (Aug 28/14)
Montreal Rampage (Aug 29/14)
Eric Bescak Blog (Sept 4/14)
CBC Radio Ottawa Morning (May 29/14)
Hindustan Times (Aug 18/14)
Breakfast Television Montréal, CITY TV (Aug 27/14)
Washington Post (Aug 20/14)
McGill Daily (Sept 22/14)

Food Navigator US
New York Daily News
Globe and Mail: Business
National Public Radio Marketplace
Toronto Star
Le Devoir

Popular Science
New Yorker
Business Standard (India)
Food World News
Eating In Translation
Radio Canada International (Oct 2013)
The New Pay Chen Show, CJAD Talk Radio (Oct 7/13)
Daily Mail (UK)
Al Jazeera
Inhabitat video
Food Forethought AgInfo Net
Radio Canada International
Lang & O’Leary Exchange
CBC Radio Metro Morning

Texas Butterfly
Austin Chronicle
Austin 360

Le Future Food Salon Group (groupe de concertation sur l’alimentation du futur) est né de l’intérêt d’explorer et goûter ce qui pourrait être mangé dans le futur. Les membres du groupe s’accordent sur l’idée qu’une telle exploration s’accomplit mieux dans le contexte d’un groupe diversifié de gens, incluant des artistes, des inventeurs, des chefs, des investisseurs et des intellectuels. Ce qui motive cette impulsion réside dans la reconnaissance du fait que le système alimentaire et les choix actuels ne sont pas soutenables, face à une croissance globale des populations et une planète finie.

Les salons ont été lancés en 2011 par Mme Aruna Antonella Handa, (Ph. D.) d’Alimentary Initatives afin d’inviter le public à déguster et discuter du futur de l’alimentation dans un cadre artistique. En 2012, Mme Elke Grenzer (Ph. D.) du Culture of Cities Centre s’est jointe à Mme Handa en tant que co-hôtesse des salons.

Les membres actuels du Future Food Salon Group comprennent :
Dr Aruna Antonella Handa, Alimentary Initiatives, Toronto (Directrice)
Mr Jakub Dzamba, Third Millennium Farming, Toronto (Technologies agricole)
Mr David Gracer, Small Stock Food Strategies, Rhode Island (Partenariats stratégique, <<Gracer Museum Collection>>)
Dr Elke Grenzer, Culture of Cities Centre, Toronto
Ms Natalia "Cookie" Martinez, Cookie Martinez, Toronto (Directrice culinaire)
Mr Lou N. Sorkin, American Museum of Natural History, Entsult Associates  (Directeur de la science)
Ms Han Zhang, Han Studio, Toronto (Directrice artistique)

L’actuel série de Salon porte sur les grillons comestibles; il y en a eu à Toronto, New York et Austin, au Texas, et nous voici maintenant à Montréal. Les membres du groupe font à la fois de la consultation et de l’éducation à l’entomophagie, en utilisant une variété de matériaux et de méthodes; des cours de cuisine aux conférences, des salons de dégustations à l’instauration d’exposition de collections muséales. La conférence d’Innovation alimentaire : L’entomophagie à travers l’art, la culture, la science et les affaires  est la toute dernière initiative entreprise par le groupe, en collaboration avec l’Insectarium de Montréal/Espace pour la vie.






Top Five Reasons to Eat Insects


Top Five Reasons to Eat Insects


  1. Sustainability: less water, food, land is needed to produce a pound of insect protein than is needed for conventional livestock. This is especially true when insects are fed food waste we do not ordinarily eat, like spent grains from a distillery.
  2. Environment: insects produce far less methane than conventional livestock.
  3. Nutrition: crickets are full of protein, heart-healthy Omega-3 fats and they are low in cholesterol.
  4. Taste: bugs can be tasty and easily absorb flavours. Our favourite so far? The honey bug otherwise known as the wax worm.
  5. Ethics: bugs can euthanized ethically by freezing them into a deep sleep before cooking.