While it has become en vogue to dismiss food allergies, they’re deadly serious and varied; ingesting tomatoes can cause strep throat, and peanuts can lead to death, as they did for 13-year-old Natalie Giorgi earlier this year.
As Observer Editor in Chief Ken Kurson notes, “My daughter Carrie suffers from severe allergies to tree nuts and certain seeds. There are so many EpiPens around that my kitchen looks like backstage at Altamont. I don’t know exactly why things like peanuts were harmless when I was a kid and potentially deadly now for about 1 in 13 children, but if you’ve ever seen your anaphylactic kid choking for breath, you know it can’t be dismissed as some goofy fad that nervous parents use to enhance their status as victims.”
Tonight’s Food Allergy Ball benefits Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and will honor Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Rebecca and Sacha Lainovic will receive the Legacy Award. Julia Koch, Sharyn T. Mann and Todd J. Slotkin are the gala dinner chairs, and David H. Koch is the corporate dinner chair. Special mention to Lianne Mandelbaum, the tiger mom who has labored tirelessly to keep this important issue in the public eye, especially with regards to traveling on commercial flights with nut-sensitive children.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 212-810-4150, 6:30 p.m., individual tickets from $1,000 to $5,000, tables from $15,000 to $50,000