Earlier this year New Farm’s Vine Restaurant owner, Mark Rotolone and his wife Vanessa lost their four-year-old son Ari to Mitochondrial disease.
What is Mitochondrial disease? It’s a complex disease which can manifest itself in a number of ways, making it difficult to diagnose; it affects one in 5000 people and reduces the ability of cells in the body to produce energy, which primarily affects the brain, heart and muscles in varying levels of severity.
Vanessa Rotolone says it's great to see the hospitality community coming together in the best way they knew how to raise funds and awareness by celebrating Ari’s life.
“Nothing will ease the pain of losing Ari and we miss him more and more the longer time marches on. We are still trying to find our 'new normal' but it’s a difficult reality to accept. We hope that by sharing Ari’s story that we can increase awareness of mitochondrial disease, and encourage individuals to participate in fundraising towards researching the disease, improving diagnostic and treatment options and towards supporting sufferers improve their quality of life,” she says.
Damian Griffiths regularly eats at the family-owned and run Vine Restaurant on Merthyr Road, and has become a friend of the Rotolone family over the years.
“Mark and Vanessa’s loss has sent shockwaves through the entire community. But they really want something positive to come out of this tragic experience, and so have decided to raise awareness and money for Mitochondrial disease so that maybe other families won’t have to go through the same thing,” Griffiths says.
“Everybody loves Vine. It’s a fantastic, neighbourhood restaurant run by a great family and we - Alexander, Erik, Philip and myself – want to support them. It’s also an opportunity for the entire community to get behind this lovely family and the cause whilst enjoying an amazing food experience.”
The inaugural Ari’s Food Safari event scheduled for June 17 has already sold out, but you will be able to your register interest for their next event soon.
For more information on Mitochondrial Disease visit www.amdf.org.au
Check out this month’s Ari’s Food Safari itinerary
6.30pm: Kwan Brothers, Foritude Valley
Glass of bubbly and canapés of Vietnamese salmon tartare, cucumber, mint, dill on prawn crackers and a Pork Bao Bun with red dragon sauce and pickled deiko.
*Bus to West End (6.50 – 7.10pm)
7.10pm: Depo, West End
Starters and aperitif: Rillettes of duck on crostini, goat cheese nougat in grilled zucchini, and ratatouille filo tartelette.
*Bus to Vine (7.45 – 8.00pm)
7.45pm: Vine, New Farm
Main course with matching wines: Braised beef Cheeks, polenta, caramelised onion, gremolata and cavolo nero.
*Bus to Chester Street (8.45 – 8.55pm)
8.55pm: Chester Street, Newstead
Dessert and cocktails: Sticky Date Pudding served with caramel and vanilla ice cream
*Bus to Alfred & Constance (9.20 – 9.30pm)
9.30pm: Alfred & Constance, Fortitude Valley
After party: Espresso Martinis in the Air Raid Shelter