Real Talk November 2017

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Sheryl Vieira shares thoughts on the community, good deeds and important things, big AND small.

Last month, we saw lots of pink (and grey, too), while Chef Mario Batali demonstrated his infinite wisdom, artistry and comedic wit.

As most of you know, October is national breast cancer awareness month, and its powerful symbol is a pink ribbon. But what do you know about Alzheimer’s? With the number of people affected by this terrible disease steadily on the rise, it’s likely that someone you care about comes immediately to your mind. That’s why we’re so eager to always show our support. talk

There were two “key” events last month whose missions are to eventually unlock the door to a cure for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s – Key to the Cure and Grey Matters. I was also lucky enough this month to have spent some time with Chef Mario Batali (referred to as Malto), learning what moves him and where his passion for good food is taking him next — though where he’s already been is quite significant!

There is a Key to the Cure

For the twelfth year, Saks Fifth Avenue once again partnered with Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation to present the unofficial kickoff event of the season, Key to the Cure.
This year’s “Party with a Purpose” featured scrumptious food, festive beverages, entertainment, shopping and the opportunity to empower! To date, this event has raised more than $1,300,000 to further breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical cancer research and related projects in the Sarasota/Manatee community. Seen in the highly-pinked crowd were Donna Koffman, Diana Buchanan, Kelly Van Vliet, Brenda Welch Michel, Aimee Chouinard, Dr. Alissa Shulman, Veronica Booth Brady, Salena Wilhoit, Meghan Buchanan, Deborah Blue and Carol Sirard.

Grey Matters

Recent stats show that 1 in 9 people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia. By 2050, it is estimated that as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease, with 135 million people being affected worldwide. The emotional and financial costs of lives lost, families affected and care needed is staggering. The Roskamp Institute is determined to change that. Hosting the first ever sold-out symposium, Grey Matters, at the Sarasota Yacht Club, speakers presented on various areas of brain health, potential treatments and information on prevention due to healthy lifestyle choices. Facts, preventative measures, early symptom warnings and clinical research updates regarding the potential for new treatments being developed at the Roskamp Institute and elsewhere were shared at this new annual event.
This year’s world-renowned speakers/panelists included President & CEO of the Roskamp Institute, Dr. Fiona Crawford, Executive Director of the Roskamp Institute, Dr. Michael Mullan and Dr. Michael Murray N.D., Chief Science Officer at Enzymedica and internationally acclaimed authority on natural medicine.
After establishing research facilities locally in 2003, the Roskamp Institute has made important discoveries with profound clinical implications for millions of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s and other debilitating neurological disorders.
In addition to Alzheimer’s Disease treatments, the Institute focuses on the development of new drugs and therapies to treat neurological disorders such as Traumatic Brain Injury, Gulf War Illness, Multiple Sclerosis and other neuroinflammatory disorders.

“We are so thrilled with the outpouring of support for our Grey Matters event. The level of interest speaks to the fact that Alzheimer’s impacts so many people in so many ways,” said Institute CEO Dr. Fiona Crawford. “Our work at the Institute is translating to new treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s and related brain disorders.”

Funds received from The Grey Matters Symposium provide direct monetary support to current scientifically-based medical research being conducted at the Roskamp Institute. Each guest also received a copy of Dr. Michael Murray’s book Healthy Eating. I couldn’t wait to devour it!
Seen in the scientific crowd were Melanie Casper, Mary Pat Radford, Beth Bobb, Megan Micale, Nikki Taylor, Roskamp Institite founders Bob and Diane Roskamp and many others. The event was moderated by Hayley Wielgus of ABC 7 and major sponsors were The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Ursella H. Selliti Charitable Fund, Gresham and Ruth Roskamp, Enzymedica Inc., Sarasota Bay Club, Jacaranda Trace and Williams Parker. Sarasota Scene Magazine was a media sponsor.

Delicious Conversation with Chef Mario Batali talk

Mario Batali is one of the most recognized and respected chefs worldwide. He has created a successful restaurant and culinary empire that spans New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Singapore. He is the author of eleven cookbooks, and was named “Man of the Year” in the chef category by GQ Magazine in 1999. In 2002, he won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City” award, and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded Mario the designation “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” Mario was also a recipient of the 2001 D’Artagnan Cervena “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America,” a prestigious food industry lifetime achievement award. talk
His formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in London was cut short when he withdrew to apprentice with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White and then headed to Italy for three additional years of intense culinary training in the Northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne, where he learned the essential skills for everything Italian cooking depending on the various regions.
In 2008, Mario founded the Mario Batali Foundation with the mission of feeding, protecting, educating and empowering children. He employs more than 4,000 people, owns 26 restaurants and is part of five Italian markets and counting called Eately. He is always looking for an intangible measure of passion and excitement, because if you love it no matter the repetition, you will be happy – and that always leads to success. talk
Says Mario, “If you’re going to go to a university, go first of all to become fascinated and second of all to become fascinating. When you watch someone who knows how to do something really well, you become fascinated and they become fascinating.” He feels he has been extremely fortunate in his decades-long career that led him to become a superstar chef on TV. As he reflects on his tenure and decades of experience, he states that in the 40s and 50s, post WWII, America was mostly obsessed with eating as fuel. So the message was, yes, let’s get something on the table. Let’s make it convenient. In his time of cooking, you could go to the opera and get a bite, or go to the game and grab a snack. talk

“If you’re going to go to a university, go first of all to become fascinated and second of all to become fascinating. When you watch someone who knows how to do something really well, you become fascinated and they become fascinating.”

Today, people are fascinated by the nutritional components of dining as well as the political decision-making that is involved in doing right by the planet by buying sustainable agriculture and humanely treated chickens and beef. People are also now fascinated by the story of every part of their dinner. Sometimes friends will spend the whole month thinking about where they’re going to dinner in a few weeks, and make it the central part of their evening. It’s not like there is another artistic component so the chef, becomes the rock star, the baseball player or the Derek Jeter, hopefully delivering a hit and giving their customers great pleasure. And there’s also this symbiotic relationship between the chef and the customer whereby they try to trick you a little bit so you either recognize something they’ve done to the food, or maybe you don’t, but at the end of the day you realize this is delicious, and it is satisfying not to just your palate, but also somewhere in your heart you’re thinking ‘this is darn great!’ talk
Wouldn’t it be magnificent if the Roskamp Institute could “clear things” up for the 16 million potentially facing Alzheimer’s by 2050 and that the key to a cure is found for breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer? Until then, I hope we all have someone to lovingly cook for and enjoy each and every day! talk

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