Two women, seated at a table, told their stories in quiet tones.
A group of chefs, some standing, others seated, leaned forward eagerly, clearly interested in what these two women had to say.
They peppered the women with questions: did food taste better cold or hot? Was texture an issue? Did a glass of wine before dinner help or hurt the flavor experience?
The women have taken chemotherapy for their cancer. One of them - Gina Mullin - will be taking chemotherapy every three weeks for the rest of her life. Both of them tell heartbreaking stories about a side effect of chemotherapy that gets swept under the rug: food tastes terrible.
“Can you imagine how much quality of life you lose when you can’t enjoy your food?” asked Jen Cooper.
Chemotherapy, by design, kills all fast-growing cells in the body. As cancer cells die, so do all the healthy fast-growing cells, including the cells responsible for hair growth and taste buds. So your hair falls out and everything tastes metallic.