Today the Sapere board received the very sad message that our friend, colleague and board member, Dr Einar Risvik died on Sunday 23rd in Oslo, Norway.
Einar retired from work February 1st this year, and his plan was to have more time with family and friends and all his hobbies. However, he was diagnosed with incurable cancer just when he stopped working, and the disease developed very fast.
As many of you know Einar was very creative, full of energy and very caring for everyone. It is inconceivably sad he is not with us anymore. And of course the largest loss is for Einar’s nearest and dearest family – Rolf, Tobias and Thea.
I first met Einar in 1992 at the Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium in Helsinki. The field of sensory science was totally new to me but important for my work. Einar was generously taking his time to explain how sensory knowledge could be used in developing food, meals and a quality seeking consumer. I learned it was a tool for innovation and education. He was our advisor when we developed the first university courses in Sensory Science in Sweden. These courses where offered at Uppsala university and Örebro university in 1994. We became friends and I was happy to attend when Einar defended his doctoral thesis in Norway.
Einar entered Nofima, a leading institute for food research in Norway in 1981 and held a number of positions there until his retirement. He had a never-ending interest in food, gastronomy, taste, sensory science and consumer behaviour. He was a source of knowledge and inspiration to many of us in a Nordic as well as an international context.
Einar was always open for collaborations. He joined us, a handful of persons from Sweden, Denmark and Norway, on a trip to Chinon, France to meet Jacques Puisais in 1994, in order to discuss sensory education for children – what would become the Sapere method shortly after. Einar introduced the sensory education for children in Norway and was one of the minds behind the Norwegian taste week (Smakens uke) and the food education, Norsk Smakskule. He was furthermore greatly involved in the development of the New Nordic Food concept.
In 2015 Einar replaced Dr Ep Köster as board member and Scientific advisor in Sapere International. Einar was very happy to join us and together with Norsk Smakskule he arranged a fantastic and unforgettable Sapere Symposia in Bessheim, Norway in 2016.
Thank you Einar for your teamwork and important contributions to Sapere International. You are in our minds. I am so happy and grateful for all the memorable moments, work, travel, discussions, meals and nice wines we have shared.