CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes

The 12th Annual CityFeast in the North End will offer the chance to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience at seven of the most exclusive restaurants in Boston: Antico Forno, Aria Trattoria, Bricco, Lucca, Taranta, Terramia Ristorante, and Tresca. Tickets include a five-course dinner with wine pairings at one of the participating restaurants and proceeds will benefit Joslin Diabetes Center’s High Hopes Fund, which supports the Center’s greatest needs in research, education, and clinical care. Joslin Diabetes Center is the world’s preeminent diabetes research and care organization, located right here in Boston. 6 p.m. $150 per guest.

Haute Spots Boston: CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes

Even though the New Year is always full of promises for healthier resolutions, we say there’s always room to indulge, especially if it’s for a good cause. That’s just what CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes promises on Sunday, January 29.

The 12th annual event, which includes a five-course dinner and wine pairings being held throughout several North End restaurants, is this year honoring 26-year-old David Gomes for living with Type 1 diabetes for the past 25 years. David’s mother, Carla Agrippino Gomes, owner of Antico Forno and Terramia Ristorante, created CityFeast as a way of giving back to Joslin Diabetes Center, where her son has continued to receive life-saving care since his diagnosis on his first birthday. Read more

JDRF Terramia Ristorante - Support Diabetes

Boston Business Journal’s Healthcare Heroes – Volunteer award

News Release – PDF

Joslin Diabetes Center Receives Three Awards from the Boston Business Journal’s 2015 Healthcare Heroes

BOSTON – (August 12, 2015) – The Boston Business Journal (BBJ) has selected three recipients from Joslin Diabetes Center to receive the 2015 Healthcare Heroes Awards, which honors those who have worked tirelessly to improve the overall health and wellness of those living in Massachusetts and beyond. The awardees include Lloyd P. Aiello, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Beetham Eye Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School; Melinda Maryniuk, M.Ed., R.D., C.D.E., Director of Care Programs at Joslin Diabetes Center; and Carla Gomes, proprietor of Antico Forno and Terramia in the North End of Boston.

“We are honored to have three of Joslin’s distinguished faculty and supporters receive recognition for their dedication and accomplishments in research, patient care and volunteer work,” said John L. Brooks III, President and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center. “These awards reflect the diverse and talented group of people who contribute to Joslin’s mission of preventing, treating and curing diabetes.”

Dr. Aiello, who is an internationally recognized researcher, received the Innovator Award for his research into the causes of diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of visual loss among working-age individuals in most countries around the world. Most recently, he received the Champalimaud Award, the Nobel for ophthalmology research, for his contributions toward the discovery of treatments that inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to improve ocular diseases. Dr. Aiello continues to make huge strides in research toward improving the current understanding of diabetic eye complications, and his research has redefined the standards of care for ‪diabetes‬ patients worldwide.‬‬‬‬‬

The Educator Award was presented to Ms. Maryniuk who has three decades of experience working as a diabetes educator and dietician. As the Director of Clinical and Education Programs at Joslin, Ms. Maryniuk established the dietician’s role as a valued team member in diabetes self-management education, mentored future leaders in the field of diabetes care, delivered more than 100 presentations and authored 75 publications promoting the importance of nutrition and the role of the dietitian in diabetes management.

The third recipient is Ms. Gomes who received the Volunteer Award. Ms. Gomes is a local and national leader in the fight against diabetes, inspired by her son, now 24, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just 1 year old. In 2005, Carla established the annual CityFeast: Dining out to Conquer Diabetes event.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of CityFeast, which has raised more than $285,000 for Joslin to fund innovative research for a cure, pioneering education and care programs, and community outreach.

To learn more about the Joslin recipients, click here.

Sugar Babies Movie


This three-part documentary miniseries examining one of modern life’s most pressing health issues

“This should be mandatory viewing for all those who have a stake in public health and the 21st century.” – Jon Huntsman

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America is facing a growing health problem that is posing a major challenge for future generations, but is preventable if we take the proper steps now to fight it and pay attention to our health. SUGAR BABIES: THE BITTERSWEET TRUTH ABOUT DIABETES is a compelling new three part documentary miniseries that explores the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the rising rates of Type 1, and the skyrocketing numbers of Type 2 in children and teens. This entertaining and informative miniseries looks at what we can do to understand it, control it, and beat it. This production is NOW available from Virgil Films.

Carla Gomes DH ’81 Serves Up Charity

Walk down Salem Street in Boston’s North End, and you’ll probably see Carla Gomes DH ’81. The beloved, ubiquitous owner of Antico Forno and Terramia restaurants, at which MCPHS students and their families receive 10% discounts, incessantly shuttles between the two establishments whose employees are as close as family. In the North End, family comes first. No one knows that better than Gomes. Gomes’s son David, a 21-year old Pre-Med MCPHS student, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes on his first birthday. Gomes says that David was somewhat fortunate to receive an early diagnosis. Yet, living with diabetes poses major challenges. “Diabetes is always with you…It’s a consideration in each move you make, every day,” Gomes says.

Last May, Joslin Diabetes Center honored Gomes at Symphony Hall  for her tireless diabetes research and diabetes care fundraising efforts that have yielded more than $150,000 since 2003. Proceeds from the annual CityFeast at Antico Forno are directed to Joslin’s High Hopes Fund.  “I want to raise as much money as possible for High Hopes so that one day David and millions like him will be free from diabetes and its complications.”

Editor’s Note: The below interview has been edited and condensed for space.

MCPHS – Tell us about your background and your time at Forsyth
Carla Gomes – I grew up in the North End on Hanover Street with two brothers. I spent two years at the Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists as a commuter student. Those two years were amazing. I even met one of my dearest friends on the very first day – we’ve been friends ever since. The first year was tough, a lot of work and an intense caseload. The second year wasn’t as difficult. Forsyth really is a great school. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I just loved the faculty. I still have my license! I’m never going to give that up since it was so hard to get.

Now I have two sons in college, David at MCPHS and Robert at Curry College.

MCPHS – Tell us about your family
Carla Gomes – After graduation I traveled to California and took my board examination. I worked in San Francisco for a year and a half. My brother had previously lived out there and reported that the money was good. I worked for a number of great dentists, one or two days, here and there. In California you work for yourself.

In 1982 I returned to Boston as I missed my family, and got married in 1983. I had grown up with the man I married, a doctor who graduated from MCPHS, and we remained in touch while I was in California. I worked in a dentist’s office located on the Boston waterfront until 1989 when I had my first son Robert. A year later I had my second son, David.

MCPHS – How did you end up owning two restaurants?
Carla Gomes – In 1993, when my sons were in preschool, my brother, who is a chef, was seeking to open a restaurant. Over Sunday dinner at my mother’s house, he discussed a restaurant opportunity. I asked him if he would mind having a female partner. On the following Tuesday we met in front of the restaurant that he wanted to buy, which is now Terramia. By Friday it was signed, sealed and delivered.

After two months of renovations, we opened and never looked back. “What the hell did I just do?” is all I kept asking myself.

Opening night arrived with no advertising; we had 75 customers. They looked at the menu and noticed differences from the usual North End fare. Be built our reputation by word of mouth. It was a hit.

I credit our chef Mario for changing the way that people eat in the North End. Mario brought authentic Italian to the North End. Originally, I didn’t know what he was doing but I learned quickly. That’s what you do in the restaurant business. Terramia was the first restaurant in the North End to serve anything close to authentic Italian cuisine.

In 1996, the owners of the property where our Antico Forno restaurant is now located were selling the property. So I talked to Mario about opening a pizza restaurant. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and we had the first wood-burning brick oven stove in the North End. The second half of Antico’s name, Cucina a Legna, means “of wood.”

Terramia and Antico Forno, Cucina a Legna offer two different types of fare. Terramia is regional upscale Italian; Antico is more traditional. Everything in Antico goes through the brick oven. We get a lot of families, as well as a lot of couples, but families seem to prefer Antico Forno to Terramia.

MCPHS – Tell us about your son’s diabetes and learning about the condition
Carla Gomes – My son David was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on his first birthday. He had been sick, and was in Massachusetts General Hospital because he wasn’t breathing well. The doctors reported that if he lived through the night, he would have diabetes for the rest of his life. On his birthday, July 24, he had lived with diabetes for 21 years.

Fortunately we had a fantastic doctor. MGH and later the Joslin (Diabetes Center) provided us with incredible services that we needed as a family – a whole network of services with nurses, nutritionists, dietitians and child and parent support groups. To this day, when I call Joslin about an appointment for David, they know who I am the second they pick up the phone.

My son doesn’t know life without diabetes. Yet, I want him to know a life without diabetes. When they are born with diabetes, children go through a stage in life without a real concept of time. Yet, when he reached seven or eight years old he asked, “Am I going to have diabetes for the rest of my life?” David is studying pre-med at MCPHS, and is scheduled to graduate in 2013. I’m very proud.

MCPHS – What made you want to start raising money for Joslin?
Carla Gomes – Fundraising evolved because I needed to do something to give back to a place which had given us so much. With a restaurant, I had the venue to do something. I mean, who doesn’t like to eat?

“CityFeast: Dining out to conquer Diabetes” has always been held at my restaurants Terramia and Antico Forno. We hold it on the last Sunday in January because it’s a very quiet time in the restaurant world. – no football, not a lot going on. It has cost $150 per person since we started the event in 2006. Guests receive a five-course meal and wine pairings. Joslin receives proceeds of $100 from each ticket sold. In the past other North End restaurants, including Lucca, Tresca and Taranta have also joined in.

Every year we attract many elected officials, including Mayor Menino and his wife who have attended since the beginning. We’ve also had Celtics and Bruins players and their families, including Ray Allen’s wife Shannon, Dana Barros from the Celtics and Nick Boynton from the Bruins too. Boyton has Type 1 Diabetes. He was crucial in helping us get the word out early on, and we are already planning next year’s event!

This is my way of thanking the Joslin for everything they’ve done for us.

North End Restaurateur Honored by Joslin Diabetes Center

Joslin Diabetes Center will honor Carla Gomes at the 26th Annual EVENING AT POPS event at Boston’s Symphony Hall
Joslin Diabetes Center will honor Carla Gomes at the 26th Annual EVENING AT POPS event at Boston’s Symphony Hall

On Friday, May 11th, Joslin Diabetes Center will honor Carla Gomes at the 26th Annual EVENING AT POPS event at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Gomes, a Canton resident and a beloved North End restaurateur, will be recognized for her tireless work to support Joslin through her annual CityFeast event, a unique food-and-wine fundraiser founded by Gomes that benefits diabetes research and care through Joslin’s High Hopes Fund.

“We are all touched by diabetes in some way during our lifetime,” said Gomes, “Diabetes afflicts 24 million Americans and is the leading cause of kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, stroke and amputations. Currently there is no cure; and I want to do all I can to support Joslin Diabetes Center in their work to try to find that cure.”

One of those affected is Gomes’ son, David, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over twenty years ago on his first birthday. Now a graduate of Canton High School, and currently a Pre-Med student at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Gomes is quick to point out that David was fortunate, but living with diabetes has immense challenges.

“Diabetes is always with you, it’s not something you get a break from. You always have to think about it. It’s a consideration in each move you make, day in and day out.” Gomes went on to say, “Our goal is to raise as much money to support the High Hopes Fund as possible, so that one day my son David and millions like him, will be free from diabetes and its complications.”

Carla is grateful to Joslin and its team of experts for helping her son live a relatively normal childhood despite the everyday challenges of the disease. She is happy to focus her energy on supporting its efforts, so that other mothers may be as fortunate; and in the hopes that a cure is not too far off.  Over the past eight years, Gomes has raised more than $150,000 for Joslin’s High Hopes Fund through CityFeast and she hopes to continually expand the event in the future by involving more restaurants throughout the city.

 “We are thrilled to recognize Carla Gomes for her continued efforts on behalf of Joslin Diabetes Center,” says John Brooks, III, President & CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center. “For almost a decade, her tremendous work through CityFeast has helped support the Center’s greatest needs in research, education and clinical care, making it possible for us to look forward to a future without diabetes.”

EVENING AT POPS treats guests to a spectacular musical experience by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. This year the Pops will celebrate George Gershwin by performing many of his vibrant, jazzy and uniquely American musical pieces, including Rhapsody in Blue. This event is Friday, May 11th at 8:00 p.m.

For more information on Joslin Diabetes Center or to purchase EVENING AT POPS tickets, please visit

A weekend of food and festivities

Carla Gomes, John Brooks, Francesca Bastarache, and Mayor Menino at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s 7th Annual CityFeast.
From left: Carla Gomes, John Brooks, Francesca Bastarache, and Mayor Menino at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s 7th Annual CityFeast.

Celeb chef Todd English was one of the famous faces at Mohegan Sun’s wine festival over the weekend. . . . Mayor Tom Menino , WGBH’s Emily Rooney , Joslin Diabetes Center CEO John Brooks , and City Councilor Sal Lamattina , were among the 200 who participated in the Joslin Diabetes Center’s 7th Annual CityFeast, an event founded by Antico Forno and Terramia owner Carla Gomes.

Read more …

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Globe Staff / January 31, 2012

A mother’s love brings a neighborhood to action

Restaurateur Carla Gomes will host CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes at her two North End eateries, Antico Forno and Terramia.
Restaurateur Carla Gomes will host CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes at her two North End eateries, Antico Forno and Terramia.

Shortly before David Gomes first birthday, in the summer of 1991, he came down with what appeared to be a cold. His parents took him to his pediatrician, who said he should be better soon.

When he was still sick a week later, they took him back to the doctor, who tested him for diabetes. That test came up negative, but he was still sick, still not eating and rapidly losing weight. In two weeks, he would go from a healthy 32-pound baby to a sickly 22 pounds.

On David’s birthday, his father Ronald Gomes, a doctor, noticed that his breathing was labored. His parents rushed David to the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital, where doctors told them their baby was very sick, that he was slipping into a diabetic coma.

The previous test had registered a false negative. If he lived through the night, the doctors said, David would live the rest of his life with diabetes.

“I was devastated,” recalled his mother, Carla Gomes. “We were just concerned about him surviving the night and dealing with the diabetes after. At that moment I wasn’t even thinking of how do we take care of him, I was just praying to God that he lives.”

David Gomes did live through that night, and the next. After a week, he was able to go home from the hospital, but that was only the beginning of his family’s struggle to deal with his illness.

“It was the most confusing roller-coaster ride that I’ve ever been on in my entire life,” his mother said. “Because the numbers didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t understand a high blood sugar or low blood sugar. Here I have a one-year-old baby, and I have to balance insulin, diet and exercise, and make all those three run in a baby that does not talk.”

Carla Gomes said the challenge sent her into fighting mode. She learned the terminology of diabetes treatment and how to balance her son’s blood sugar. She and her husband adjusted to the regular struggles, as they were forced to hold down a strong, growing child three times a day to give him a shot of insulin.

She kept sweets and sodas out of the house and monitored David’s diet closely, no hamburgers from McDonald’s and no chasing after the ice cream truck. That meant sacrifices for the whole family, especially their other son, just 17 months older than David.

Since that summer of 1991, Carla Gomes has watched as David grew from a underweight baby with a difficult illness into a strong, healthy young man. Today, 6-foot-2, 200-pound David Gomes is a 20-year-old student at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He hopes to become a endocrinologist and to help other sick children.

His struggle with diabetes has altered the path of David Gomes’s life, and it’s changed his mother’s as well. The owner of North End restaurants Antico Forno and Terramia is a crusader for diabetes research who founded and helps host the neighborhood’s sixth annual fund-raisers for the Joslin Diabetes Center, where her son has received treatment for 18 years.

For next Sunday’s CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes, both of Gomes restaurants will join four others  Lucca, Taranta, Tresca and Caffe Grafitti  in offering a special five-course dinner with wine pairings for $150 per person, including tax and gratuity.

Proceeds from CityFeast benefit Joslin High Hopes Fund to support their efforts to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes and to search for a cure.

Gomes said from the beginning she’s had eager support from fellow restaurateurs. “When you go to restaurant people for help, everybody in the restaurant industry seems to come together, donates money, has benefits,” she said. We have a great restaurant community, in the North End especially.

The event has grown every year, Gomes said, raising close to $100,000 to date. My dream is to really get this expanded and raise tons of money, she said. Because in one night, in just a very few hours, if we can get so many restaurants to give us 50 seats, the amount of money we could raise in one night for diabetes would be incredible.

Just in the 20 years that the Gomes family has been dealing with diabetes, improvements in understanding and treatment have made life easier for David Gomes and the estimated 23.6 million other Americans living with the disease. Today, Gomes can drink a cola or eat a hamburger if he wants one, but he must remain constantly vigilant, giving himself a shot of insulin five to six times each day.

For Carla Gomes, the hope  and the reason behind CityFeast  is that David and others like him will see a day when a cure can be found. “My son doesn’t know life without diabetes, and I want him to know what that day is like”, she said.

 By Jeremy C. Fox, Town Correspondent

January 24, 2011 on