Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Origins of City Feast: To Vanquish Diabetes

As mentioned previously, the 5th Annual City Feast will be held on January 31 to benefit the Joslin Diabetes Center, specifically the Joslin's High Hopes Fund. Seven North End restaurants, including Terramia, Antico Forno, Lucca, Prezza, Tresca, Taranta and Cafe Graffiti, will host special five-course dinners with wine pairings.

Carla Agrippino Gomes, the owner of Antico Forno and Terramia, is the founder of City Feast. I recently spoke to Carla about the origins of City Feast and the reasons behind her support of Joslin. I met Carla once before, finding her to be very personable, down-to-earth, and passionate about her restaurants. When I spoke to her about City Feast, I felt that same passion, yet this time directed to the cause of vanquishing diabetes.

Carla's son, David, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on his first birthday, devastating news for any parent. In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas completely stops producing insulin, which is a necessary hormone to derive energy from the glucose in foods. Instead, it backs up in the blood stream, causing a variety of negative symptoms. There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes and it is treatable only with insulin. It is a lifelong illness, that must be constantly monitored and treated.

David is now nineteen years old, and still dealing with his diabetes, which he will do for his entire life. As a small example of what he has undergone, consider that he has so far had over 30,000 insulin shots and over 40,000 finger sticks. He is currently in college, adjusting to all of the usual changes as any new college student, but with the added burden of handling his diabetes. Many of my readers will probably know others who have diabetes.

David and his family received much treatment, assistance and support from the Joslin Diabetes Center. Carla could not be more complimentary and thankful for everything done by Joslin. Joslin helped to ease their extensive burden and Carla's gratitude is unending. As a partial thanks, Carla decided to initiate City Feast, to raise money for diabetes research. Her devotion to this cause won't end until diabetes has been wiped out. I could hear the fiery passion in her voice.

The first City Feast event was held in 2003, and Carla approached some of the more upscale restaurants in the North End to participate. She encountered very positive reactions, which she expected from the tight-knit North End restaurant community. Since that first City Feast, they have raised almost $100,000 for diabetes research.

Carla has lofty and admirable goals, desirous of expanding City Feast first to more restaurants in the North End, and then to other restaurants all across Boston. Some day, she would love to see a National Restaurant Diabetes Day, where restaurants all across the country would participate, raising lots of money for diabetes research. I wish her much luck in this endeavor!

City Feast supports a great and well-needed cause. Plus, the participating restaurants are offering some very compelling five-course wine dinners. Please support them by buying a ticket to one of the restaurants. I will be there and hope to see many more people there as well.

To purchase tickets: Call Michelle Coletta at (617) 264-2777 or email her at Michelle.Coletta@joslin.harvard.edu

1 comment:

Juan said...

Great initiative! We support you 100%! I work at Hispanosano, a website where Hispanics can connect on Healthcare. http://www.hispanosano.com We're also on twitter (@Hispanosano) and facebook.

Best of luck!