Eating Well to Support a Diabetes Cure ❦ The Meal, April 26

The Meal

For the 33rd year, on April 26 London will play host to one of Canada’s top diabetes research fundraisers. Simply named “The Meal,” this event is an unforgettable culinary experience.

Under the leadership of Todd Pylypiw, Executive Chef of the London Hilton, some of the area’s top professional chefs are joining forces to prepare a dazzling champagne and caviar reception featuring a martini ice luge (I know, I know, that’s how you serve your martinis all the time), followed by a superb four-course meal. And, as if that weren’t enough, the evening ends with a simply named “dessert extravaganza” that’s anything but simple.

Good food for a good cause — a winning combination!

The Cause

And yes, this is indeed a good cause. Did you know that over three million Canadians have diabetes? If not treated or properly managed, diabetes can result in serious complications, including heart, kidney and eye disease as well as nerve damage. We should all be aware of the risk factors, which can be as universal as being age 40 or older. For more information, check out this Canadian Diabetes Association fact sheet.

The Meal is the longest-running fundraiser for the Canadian Diabetes Association, and it’s only fitting that it’s held in London, Ontario, home to Sir Frederick Banting, whose idea led to the discovery of insulin. Please consider attending the event, or otherwise supporting the cause. Wouldn’t it be gratifying if your contribution led to extinguishing the Flame of Hope that will burn in front of Banting House until the disease is vanquished?

Over the course of its 33-year history, The Meal has raised over $1.5 million towards diabetes research.

Chris Jarvis, Honourary Chair

The honorary chair for this year’s event is Chris Jarvis, an Olympian and world-class rower who’s been living with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 12. He’s the founder of I Challenge Diabetes, a non-profit organization that provides challenging exercise and adventure programs to support, empower and connect people living with diabetes. The vision of I Challenge Diabetes is that “all people living with Diabetes will have the skills and courage to face the challenges of the disease and will learn to accept Diabetes as an empowering force in their happy and healthy lives.”

The Food

Oh yes, let’s get back to the food, shall we? As a volunteer social media promoter for The Meal, I had the enviable task of attending the tasting last month. It was pretty clear to me that Chef Pylypiw doesn’t need my help when it comes to putting together a swoonworthy menu, but I was happy to provide my comments and post some pictures to social media. (Please note that all the photos in this post were taken by Stephen Grimes, the official photographer for The Meal.)

This year’s dinner begins with a velvety coconut and crab bisque, and then progresses to a striking plate of asparagus with pistachio aillade (that was a new term to me; think aioli). For me, this was the stand-out dish of the meal — those flavours! An invigorating lychee and lime sorbet cleanses the palate prior to the final plate: a roast beef tenderloin with roasted parsnip, French beans and exotic mushrooms. What can I say, that beef has been on my mind ever since the mid-February tasting. It was that good. And finally, dessert in one word: extravaganza. The selection last year was a mind-boggling array of beautiful pastries and other other delights (including some sugar-free options, of course).

Details of The Meal

Sunday, April 26, 2015; Reception 5:00 pm, Dinner 6:00 pm

London Hilton (300 King Street, London ON)

$175 per person (partial tax receipts). New this year: tickets available online until April 17, here. Or, you can call 519-673-1630, Ext 228 or email

Net proceeds for diabetes research.

Dress: business attire.

Keeping in Touch with The Meal

You can ‘like’ The Meal on Facebook and follow along on Twitter (@TheMealLondon)!

Others Ways You Can Help

If you’re unable to attend The Meal but still would like to help, please share this post on your Facebook page, Twitter or other social media. Every bit of publicity helps not only with fundraising, but also with increasing awareness of the need to find a cure for diabetes.

You can support the Canadian Diabetes Association in a variety of ways, as you can see here. As one example, I use their Clothesline service, donating clothing and other items I no longer need. They pick them up right from my front porch.

DISCLAIMER: I support and attend The Meal as a volunteer social media promoter. As noted above, the photographs in this post are copyright © 2015 Stephen Grimes, Canada.


    • Thank you, Frank. I’m just a small part of a volunteer effort that’s involved many dedicated people for the past 33 years. Great to see such commitment to finding a cure. All the best to you.

  1. Of course I had to take a second look – Hilton, London? Ontario of course….ALso I have drastically reduced my sugar intake and now what I thought would taste savory now tastes incredibly sweet (try coleslaw) – so much hidden sugar…..

    • Oh, you need to expand your ideas about places called London, lol. Actually the hashtag I use on Instagram is usually #CanadasLondon. I occasionally get this mix-up on my social media accounts, sometimes with amusing results. A London (as in, the original) PR firm has invited me to participate in some pub crawls, but it’s a bit far to go for a few drinks, thanks.

      Anyway, isn’t it an eye-opener that when you train yourself to use less sugar (or salt, for that matter) you start noticing how it’s much more prevalent than you realized?

  2. Wonderful cause, wish I could attend! My children’s father’s family is rife with Type 2 Diabetes so this is a stirring post for me. Have ‘liked’ on Facebook and will share, thanks for bringing this to our attention Marlene 🙂 (But I wish I hadn’t read this before lunchtime, I’m so hungry now… 😉 )

    • Thanks for helping to share the word, Sherri. Obviously, this is a cause that’s too close to home for you.

      I hope any readers over the pond realize the event is being held in London, CANADA (before they buy a ticket, lol).

      • Haha…yes, but at least it makes people aware of events like this and you never know who might be in your London around that time! Hope you’re having a great weekend Marlene 🙂

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