Locavore feast supports local cancer patient care

Doctors, researchers and staff from LRCP were at Tastings to thank supporters. From left: LHSC Radiation Oncologist Dr. Michael Lock, Sarah Freiburger, Laura McCracken, LHSC Radiation Oncologist Dr. Belal Ahmad, Lisa D'Souza and LHSC Radiation Oncologist Dr. David D'Souza.

London, Ont. - Last night, 21 wineries and 13 restaurants converged at the Best Western PLUS, Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre for TASTINGS, an exceptional wine and food experience presented by CIBC Wood Gundy | The Seabrook Financial Group, CIBC Commercial Banking, and CIBC Private Wealth Management, in support of London Health Sciences Foundation.

"I've said it many times - I really enjoy this event and wouldn't miss it. The food is fantastic and the wine is exceptional," says Canada's first Master Sommelier John Szabo.

Centred in one of North America's best agricultural areas, chefs from the London-region practice a food philosophy favouring fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create their culinary masterpieces. Outstanding wineries from around the world travel to TASTINGS to pour a selection of their finely crafted wines, which are matched with tasting plates created by these exceptional, local chefs.

The event has sold out early the past few years and this was no exception. Close to 500 guests took in the black-tie event; sampling the food and wine as well as bidding on trips, restaurant experiences, vintage wines and scotch offerings in the silent auction.

"TASTINGS not just an event, it is the place to be," says TASTINGS Co-chair Kelly Tranquilli. "It has become a yearly destination where locavore meets wine traveler…and all for a great cause."

Since 2006, TASTINGS has raised more than $1.2 million (net) for programs at London Health Sciences Centre. Last year the event helped purchase a genetic sequencer for the hospital's cancer labs. This year, TASTINGS' proceeds support the renewal of facilities at LHSC's London Regional Cancer Program, with space redesigned to improve the care, comfort and privacy of patients and their families

London Regional Cancer Program - BY THE NUMBERS:

Patients cared for daily: 750*
Patients treated each year: 10,000*
Cancer-related firsts pioneered at LHSC: 14 (including the world's first radiation and chemotherapies)
Research projects currently underway: 400+ (translating today's discoveries into improved patient care faster than ever before)

*averaged numbers

For more on the TASTINGS experience, including details about the participating chefs, and to learn more about the event's beneficiary visit lhsf.ca/tastings