Roberto Flore & Afton Halloran Head of culinary R&D| Researcher
Roberto Flore is Head Chef of the Nordic Food Lab and a Sardinian explorer of the Great North. Roberto’s gastronomic path started in Seneghe, a small village in Sardinia, at the age of 4. By the side of his grandmother he recalls bread dough in his hands, the perfume of wild herbs and the wood stove. In these youthful moments his passion for food was born. Studying agronomy allowed him to understand the origins of food, and consequently inspired his adventures in the kitchen. Encounters with important mentors in Italy deeply impacted his career, and showed the way to a more holistic understanding of the history of food. During his travels around the world Roberto has gathered techniques, stories and flavours which have refined his way of interpreting the complexity of gastronomy. In this way, he encountered the Nordic Food Lab, where he is currently the Head Chef and leading the gastronomic research of this vibrant organization. Over the past years, Roberto and his team at the Nordic Food Lab have created an interdisciplinary environment capable of changing the perception of the edible landscape. One of Roberto’s main activities at the Lab has been working with edible insects. He has travelled extensively with the goal of understanding how insects have been collected, prepared and celebrated in other cultures. Imprinted by these experiences, he has unleashed his creativity to explore and produce both delicious and thought-provoking dishes. At 32 years old, Roberto is playing a fundamental role in redefining and pushing the boundaries of deliciousness.
Afton Halloran is a Canadian PhD Fellow at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen. She is a part of the GREEiNSECT research group, a group of public and private institutions investigating how insects can be utilized for food and feed in Kenya. Her research focuses on the socio-economic, nutritional, and environmental impacts of cricket farming in Thailand and Kenya. She formally worked as a consultant with the Insects for Food and Feed Programme at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. She is a co-author on the FAO’s most popular publication Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security. Afton holds a BSc (honours) in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia and an MSc in Agricultural Development from the University of Copenhagen. Her first encounter with insects was in Uganda in 2008 when a market vendor shared some of his freshly fried ants and nsenene with her. Her research interests include sustainable food systems, food policy, rural-urban interactions, undervalued foods, farmers’ organizations and sustainable diets. Afton’s most recent co-authored publications include Regulating edible insects: the challenge of addressing food security, nature conservation, and the erosion of traditional food culture in Food Security; The development of the edible cricket industry in Thailand in Journal of Insects as Food and Feed; and Broadening Insect Gastronomy in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowships and the Consultative Research Committee for Development Research of the Danish International Development Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark.