2021 Gastronomic Lunch raises over $114,000 for diabetes research

May 18 2021

After being cancelled last year due to the Pandemic, the Gastronomic Lunch of the year was welcomed back in style at Scratchley's on Sunday, 2 May. 110 guests joined owner and event organiser Neil Slater to be wined and dined by six of Newcastle's best chefs to raise money for HMRI diabetes research.

Diners heard from HMRI researcher Professor Bruce King about his teams' work to make life easier for the families of young children living with type 1 diabetes.

Parents of children living with type 1 diabetes spend a lot of their day counting carbs in food to calculate the correct insulin dose to give their child. Unfortunately, counting carbs is an imperfect metric to judge insulin requirements, leading to incorrect doses of insulin and harmful high or low blood sugar levels.

Professor King's team have developed a first of its kind app. The app allows people to input specific foods or ingredients of meals and automatically calculate the required insulin based on fat, protein and carbs.

The app has already shown great promise in trials. Giving parents better information to manage their children's insulin and giving them back time and quality of life, cutting down on the need to break out the calculator for each meal. 

Professor King says they will use the money raised by the Gastronomic lunch to take the app to the next level by trying to integrate image recognition into the app. 

"We want to give people the ability to take pictures of food and have the app recognise the ingredients and automatically calculate the required insulin doses," Professor King said.

"This could be a game-changer for families living with type 1 diabetes, lifting a massive burden of the disease and improving their children's health outcomes.

"We are immensely grateful for the generous support of everyone involved with the Gastronomic Lunch."

Neil Slater and his wife Donna have organised the Gastronomic Lunch for over 16 years and has raised over $1.9 million for HMRI research.

"It was a fantastic day, and the generosity of the people who attended was unbelievable," Neil said.

"One of our auction items was Chefs to your home where Joel Humphreys and Dylan Abdoo, two of Newcastle's best chefs, come to your house to prepare a five-course meal for ten. It sold for over $17,000, which is amazing!"

Thank you to everyone involved in this year's Gastronomic Lunch and especially to this year’s chefs!

Mike Portley - Head Chef at “The Edwards”

Joel Humpherys - Head Chef at “Scotties” & “Lost Boys Kebab”

Nathan Bunting - Head Chef at “Scratchleys Restaurant”

Dylan Abdoo - Former Head Chef & Proprietor of “Newcastle Greens”

George Mirodevich - Head Chef at “The Signal Box”

Gareth Williams - Owner & Head Pastry Chef at “Covered in Crumbs”

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.