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Future Food Salon: Cricket?

Future Food Salon Montreal: Wednesday Aug 27, 2014 Montreal Insectarium Space for Life (in the tent in the Gardens) / mercredi le 27ième août, 2014. Chapiteau, Insectarium Espace pour la vie.


Future Food Salon: Cricket?

Future Food Salon Montreal: Wednesday Aug 27, 2014 Montreal Insectarium Space for Life (in the tent in the Gardens) / mercredi le 27ième août, 2014. Chapiteau, Insectarium Espace pour la vie.

Future Food Salon a Hit in Toronto, Manhattan & Austin.

Upcoming Future Food Salon
Montreal Insectarium, Montreal, Quebec August 27, 2014 7-10 pm

Eventbrite - Future Food Salon Montréal - Les insectes comestibles: Dégustation-causerie

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.

In Austin, the Future Food Salon ATX was a benefit for Little Herds, North America's first non-profit with charity status dedicated to furthering the cause of Edible Insects.

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.

Current Series
The 2013-14 series is all about eating crickets. Crickets are more efficient to raise than traditional livestock as their cultivation requires less water, less land and less feed than traditional livestock, and  their cultivation produces less waste. They are also nutritious with comparable protein to beef and chicken, with heart-healthy fats, and low cholesterol. They are also versatile as a food ingredient. Some of our sponsors in this series are making a business case for eating crickets right now in the present.

Partners and Sponsors
Chapul makes a high protein cricket-based bar and participated in the New York and Austin Salons and Big Cricket Farms, based in Ohio, is the first American farm exclusively dedicated to cultivating food grade crickets for wholesale and retail markets. Big Cricket Farms is supplying the Montreal Salon and debuting their product at the Eating Innovation conference. Jakub Dzamba and his Third Millennium Farming will be launching a new product at the Salon, and Gourmex Inc and uKa protein are Montreal based edible insect companies, who will be showcasing their products at the Salon and Discovery Gallery.

Entomophagy expert Dave Gracer of Small Stock Foods (Rhode Island), and entomologists Marianne Shockley (Georgia) and Lou Sorkin participated in an Entomophagy Panel at our New York Salon, and all three will be speaking at the Eating Innovation conference, Aug 26-28, also in Montreal. Dave Gracer is a member of the Future Food Salon Group.

Tiny Farms from Silicon Valley, California will also be in attendance and leading one of the plenary sessions at the Eating Innovation conference.


Discovery Gallery - edible insect art & commerce
Open August 26-28, 2014, from 9-5 each day, the Discovery Gallery will feature art and commerce related to edible insects. Entrance is free. In the Reception Hall, Botanical Gardens, Space for Life, Montreal. Curated by Future Food Salon Group member, artist, Han Zhang.

Artists, Photographers & Videographers
Future Food Salon Group member, Han Zhang,  is partnering with artists Dominique Ferraton and Marjan Verstappen, in the Discovery Gallery as well as at the Montreal Salon.

Like Manna from Heaven, a piece created by Han Zhang and Helen Yung, for the series, is composed of poems about food, written on rice paper from which baskets were cut and hung. We have also been privileged to work with talented and dedicated photographers and videographers, Han ZhangMichal Labik and Michael Cumming of Ambitious City. In Austin, Hayley Gillespie of Art.Science. Gallery. curated a collection of insect-inspired art for the Austin salon.

Chefs & Cooks
Without chefs, the Future Food Salons are nothing. We work with intrepid and talented chefs, bakers, chocolatiers and cooks. Future Food Salon Group member and Future Food Salon veteran Cookie Martinez has cooked and baked for both the Toronto and New York Salons in this series. In Montreal, she will be joined by guest chefs from around the continent including Montreal-based chefs of Cook Caravan to offer you delectable canapés made of edible insects.

In Austin, chefs Sonya Cote of Eden East, Imani Dabney and Michael Guidry and the chefs from Texas-based How Do You Roll created bug canapés for the Austin Salon.  Chef Daniel Holloway of Urban Acorn Catering made the canapés for our Toronto Salon. Baker Emily Breedlove of Texas made chocolate chirp cookies, and chocolatier Fat Turkey Chocolate Company made cricket based chocolates for the Manhattan Salon.

Texas Mead Works meads were sampled in  New York, courtesy of Little Herds, and Rosewood Estates Winery provided mead for the Toronto Salon. Treaty Oak Distilling and  Lagunitas Brewing Company  and Brazos Hall provided libations in Austin.

Volunteers & Staff
The Salons have benefited from the hard work of a number of graduate students, friends, and colleagues who have donated some volunteer time to the Salons. We are grateful to André Luis Marin, Meredith Marin, Bethany Nelson, Marjan Verstappen , Kai Fai Ho, Melina Giannelia, and Stefka Lubenova. We are grateful to the volunteers and staff at the Centre for Social Innovation-Starrett Lehigh, in Manhattan and Gallery 345 in Toronto and to the Litte Herd volunteers in Austin.

Sound & Visual
Atomic Picnic provided stellar sound and visual support for the Austin Salon.

Please contact us for  sponsorship options or partnership opportunities for the Montreal Salon. Please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.  


We are grateful to all of our sponsors. Please click on their logos to read more about them.



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The Salon Series hosts are Aruna 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 print media, including National Public Radio, CTV News, CBC News, and the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet.



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.




David Gracer, Small Stock Food Strategies


David Gracer, Small Stock Food Strategies

David Gracer grew up in Westchester County, NY. His childhood was influenced by two recurring themes: an intense interest in natural history, and a reluctance to try new foods. This combination of fascination and fear – and the eternal questions of humankind’s relationship to nature and how best to survive through eating – are relevant to entomophagy. Gracer has been promoting the eating of insects since 1999, publishing articles and forming various collaborations in order to advance the subject. In his view, entomophagy is a meeting-ground between humanity's past and future, and a lens through which to reconsider our relationships to our landscapes and to the planet. In addition to dozens of  US and international media appearances, Gracer has addressed hundreds of audiences, including an international FAO conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand in February 2008, and he has served cooked insects to many thousands of people. Gracer is currently assembling a museum-style collection of physical objects related to entomophagy, a portion of which was presented at the Manhattan Future Food Salon last August.

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Jakub Dzamba



Jakub Dzamba

Jakub Dzamba is a Masters of Architecture graduate from the University of Toronto, currently pursuing his PhD in architecture at McGill University. During his studies in the Masters program, Jakub initially focused on the idea of becoming a Space Architect. While awaiting his first lunar commission, Jakub’s interests evolved and he started to work on sustainability and food production here on Earth. In collaboration with Stafford Haensli Architects, Jakub has been researching and developing an approach to urban agriculture named Third Millennium Farming (3MF).

Dzamba has spoken about entomophagy (eating insects) at conferences in Bangladesh, Germany, the Czech Republic and across Canada. His cricket-farming prototypes were the subject of a 2011 Toronto Nuit Blanche exhibit entitled Farmers Market 2050. Dzamba placed third in the 2012 McGill Dobson Cup Entrepreneurial Competition for developing a business plan for his Domestic Cricket Farms. Earlier this year, Dzamba was an invited panelist at The Living Lab, an international conference hosted by the Montreal Insectarium.


Dzamba’s talk will focus on his cricket farming technology with farms that sit on less than a square metre of land and yet sustainably and organically yield food-grade cricket protein. He will also detail his theory of decentralized farming for architecture and infrastructural designs, which incorporate urban insect and algae farming.

Dzamba has appeared on national public broadcasters including the CBC and BBC, and his work has been reviewed in print media.

Dzamba is the featured speaker in the Future Food Salon Series, hosted by Aruna Handa of Alimentary Initiatives and Elke Grenzer of Culture of Cities Centre.  




Han Zhang & Helen Yung



Han Zhang & Helen Yung

Han Zhang is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the subject of language, translation, meaning and cross-cultural communication. She questions problematic issues in literary translation: loss of meaning, vulnerability of language structure, and subjectivity of interpretation. Wood, thread, paper, ink, glass, mirror and other fragile materials form her palette. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the department of Communication and Culture at York University.



A scenographer and writer by training, Helen Yung makes art in the form of interactions, installations and interventions. This usually involves a combination of scenic design, storytelling, secrets, mystery, joy, wonder, public participation, relational aesthetics, technology and sound. Based in Toronto, Helen has also worked in France, Argentina, Quebec and Asia. Her collaborations include projects with Oboro, Harbourfront Centre, Dreamwalker Dance, Festival Accès Asie, Gladstone Hotel, Dasein Dance, Foundation Creative Studio.


天上掉馅饼 / Like Manna From Heaven is an art installation created by Han Zhang and Helen Yung for the event, Crickets On The Tip of Your Tongue, a Future Food Salon hosted by Alimentary Initiatives and Culture of Cities Centre.

Inspired by the Chinese expression天上掉馅饼 (literally, pie from the sky, mean- ing “free and delicious food falling from heaven”), the installation invites viewers to contemplate gifts from above, and describe its taste and texture. Nature blesses us with so many “free and delicious” food alternatives. What does manna from the future taste like to you?

A collection of ancient Chinese poems in praise of food was selected and hand- written in Chinese calligraphy on over 100 feet of rice paper. The paper was then cut by hand to create organic forms reminiscent of baskets, fishing nets, beehives, chrysalises... To envision the future of food, sometimes we need to look to our past relationship with nature. How do we maintain our gratitude for nature and eliminate exploitation?





We are excited to partner with Big Cricket Farms in order to supply edible insects for home consumption. The Big Cricket Farm crickets are raised and processed in Ohio in a commercially inspected facility. The crickets come ready to cook. Big Cricket Farms is also supplying the conference. We are grateful for their sponsorship. Experiment away! 

Prices coming soon.


Animal and insect forms have always been the source of inspiration for artists and jewelry designers. Inspired by the recent insect eating movement and the Future Food Salon, this collection of handmade earrings by artist Han Zhang tries to capture the aesthetics of crickets.

Price range: $15-25






Cookie Natalia Martinez was born and raised in Colombia. For the past ten years, she has lived and worked in Toronto, Canada where she founded her company, Cookie Martinez. When she received her first cookbook from her home country of Colombia, she felt very inspired. The recipes and photographs transported her to her childhood in Colombia to a time when her mother and godmother frequently delighted the family with their expert baking.

“My creations are inspired from tastes of my childhood in Colombia with organic and locally sourced ingredients. I have developed several recipes using crickets for the Future Food Salons in Toronto and New York. I also cater with insects for private parties, and hope to introduce some insect dishes at my new food container in Toronto, at Dundas and Bathurst Streets. All my food is made by hand, with a Latin twist. I also prepare gluten free and vegan products as well.