ALC – AIDS LIFECYCLE – A FUNDRAISER FOR LGBTQ ORGANISATIONS
The annual ALC (ADIS lifecycle) is a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds that support the Centers’ missions in California in their fight to eliminate HIV.
Amendment July/2019: The LGBTQ Centers have transitioned from a nono-profit to an overly managed business with a hospital/Pharmacy license, and it is unclear how their original mission statement of “helping anyone in need” could be further upheld. Today, the Centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles reject most people without insurance and leave the neediest in our community without the promised “aid for all”… The ALC entity might be a semi-non-profit organization – that forwards their fundraiser money towards the LGBTQ Centers (but details are not fully shared with the enthusiastic participants – myself included)
August/2019 – They LGBTQ employees scolded me for pointing this out!!
One evening at a private dinner party in 2005, I met Lou Rosenblate. Instantly we connected; we discussed food, molecular gastronomy, and the sensation for anything that stimulates our receptors in varied – or unusual combinations. Through Lou’s daily inspirations, I dived back behind the home stove, re-enacted old tricks, and unfolded buried old recipe sheets hidden between cookbooks. “You’re the best…!”
He would encourage the devil in me (culinarily), showed up for dinners with new findings, recipes he clipped, stories of discoveries and openings. Foremost, he was a delightful dinner guest for a chef: He salivated, raved, aaah’d, and complimented sauces and nuisances over pretty much everything I prepared for his delightful cravings. He would inquire about every bit of food I had in a day, curious if I enjoyed or just ate. Lou never learned to cook with odd adversity to baking.
One day he confessed he was HIV positive, and since I had extensive knowledge about health-food and Traditional Chinese Medicine, he asked if I could help him with a healthy diet. Surprised, I found myself lacking sufficient knowledge but comforted him that his passion for food, regardless of calories or fat, was a soul-pleasing aspect and mind-curing lifestyle. I promised to study the specifics first. “You do that, chef – you’re the best…!” He is the inspiration for my new TCMchef.com website!
We planned a culinary trip to South Africa after my return from work in Asia. The planning of this seven-day trip required us to eat five times a day not to miss any of the spectacular restaurants and local specialties. It was all about food!
It was utterly shocking when I received a message from his twin sister that Lou had died in his sleep. Just like that. Dead at 48, gone. With that, a friendship erased, support vanished, meals uncooked; I boxed away cookbooks.
I still feel this awkward empty pain when thinking about him: When a market stores Quince Jelly next to aged cheese, when a food Magazine raves about Chilli laced Cheesecake, a cocktail waiter entices Rum-soaked Goosberries with Goat cheese or when someone asks if I’d tasted dark chocolate with bacon pieces… Yes, Lou introduced me to it. He was merely a gourmet connection, and he still pops in my mind and shows his presence. Nobody should die nowadays of HIV infections: it’s absurd. But – people still do. I have lost since 2005 ten close friends to HIV (or a combination of drugs, Covid & mental dismay because of HIV)… When Lou died, I was angry and confused for weeks!
I’m participating for the 8th time in ALC 10 (Aids Ride California). To play along in the spirit of Lou’s obsession and because it’s funny as a chef to observe absurd realities – I will post daily a detailed list of my food and drink intake between June 4th – 11th, 2022, to share with you what it takes to burn 5000 calories a day bicycling 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Our 7-day journey will raise money and awareness in support of Centers in both cities in their fight to end AIDS.
I rely on your generous support in raising at least $3000 to participate. Please, become a donor connected to a cause that will prevent future friendships and families from being interrupted early. There is still a general lack of compassion and much need for research and medicines.
We all share common ground on earth, live in one short cycle of actions, and must allow ourselves to make donations and share the wealth, as this is direly needed in the midst of the political chaos and aid-strangulations we experience. Thank You from the bottom of my heart and in the name of Lou’s family and all his friends.
Follow me on Facebook.
You’re the best!
Chef Raphael Gamon www.AidsLifeCycle.org go to donation and JUST DO IT!