30 million Americans, or 1 in 10, are directly affected by liver disease.
A few weeks ago I received an email from the event producer for The American Liver Foundation inviting us to attend their annual event, Flavors, which was to be held at The Silver Grille at the Higbee Building. The event brings together top chefs in our area to create a five-course, tableside dinner. Chefs included Matthew Mytro (culinary chair), Brandt Evans, Jeff Jarrett, John Kolar, Jonathon Sawyer, Matthew Mathlage, Timothy Maxin, James Foreman, Michael Nowak, Steve Schimoler and Peter Vauthy.
15,000 children are hospitalized each year with pediatric liver disorders.
I have wanted to attend this event in previous years but have never been able to. Now, I’ll be sure to never miss it in the future. What a wonderful evening – from the food, to the setting to most importantly, the community of people coming together to do their part to help – big and small. We enjoyed all our conversations, particularly with those that were directly affected with liver disease and the doctors that are championing this cause every day.
42,000 people die from liver disease every year, making it the ninth leading cause of disease-related death.
We were seated at Matthew Mytro’s table. Mytro, previously with Boulevard Blue and Paladar, now splits his time between culinary consulting work and Stove Monkeys, his unique line of street wear culinary apparel. We enjoyed all five courses from Mytro and team, but my favorite was the first course: scallop ceviche with fennel, lime and nori popcorn. I loved the pairing with the popcorn and could have snacked on that all night. My other favorite dish of the night came during cocktail hour – Brandt Evan’s crispy duck wings with jerk spice rub and brown sugar. This was not the easiest thing to eat trying to balance my purse and wine glass and not look like Fred Flinstone eating the plus-sized wing – but wow, what great flavor and taste.
16,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant.
I have to admit, while I was eager to attend this event and support the cause, I was downright giddy at the chance to go back to The Silver Grille. Like many of you, I have fond memories of having lunch there after shopping with my mom and grandma or around the holidays all beautifully decorated and coupled with a trip to see Santa. It was eerie, sad and exciting to be back. The restaurant looked exactly as I remembered it – even the bathrooms. The rich wood on the elevators, the lighted sign above the restaurant – it’s such a shame that it sits vacant most of the time, that the Higbee Building is no longer filled with shoppers and families enjoying downtown. It made me so sad and bothered me for the rest of the night and even now. I miss Higbees.
If detected early, some forms of liver disease are preventable and can be treated effectively.
So much time and energy went into making this event a success, in helping spread the message and awareness for the foundation’s mission. Everyone involved should be very proud of their efforts. We should be proud that we live in a community where so many people selflessly give and care and get involved at all levels to try to make a difference. If you didn’t make it to Flavors this year, I hope you can consider supporting it in 2010. I know we’ll be there.
(photos courtesy of the american liver foundation.)