Charity work has always been important to Chef Ben Ford. However, working to help people living with multiple sclerosis is especially important to him, as his mother, Mary Marquardt, was first diagnosed with this condition when he was a teenager. He got involved with the Reimagine MySelf project to help people improve their lives with the condition through making small but impactful changes.
MS is a chronic, often misunderstood, sometimes debilitating disease of the central nervous system that impacts 2.3 million people globally, often striking in people in their 30s and 40s. Approximately 85 percent of people are initially diagnosed with relapsing MS, the most common form of the disease according to the Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately, there is no cure for MS, but, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, change the course of the disease and manage symptoms.
Some high profile people made their battle with MS public including Teri Garr, Montel Williams, Jack Osbourne, Ann Romney, Neil Cavuto, Richard Pryor, Clay Walker, Annette Funicello, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler who is also an ambassador for Reimagine MySelf™ as reported by Everyday Health.
There are some problems that people with MS typically face, including heat intolerance and/or dexterity problems. Chef Ford saw these problems first hand, as his mother, who was partially responsible for developing his passion for food, was not able to cook and entertain as easily as she did prior to the disease.
Ford, one of the country’s most celebrated chefs, is most known for outdoor grilling, roasting and smoking meats, and hosting large-scale entertaining events. He published Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking in 2014. His restaurant Ford’s Filling Station is celebrated as being a nod to sustainable, seasonal cuisine in a comfortable setting that celebrates good, quality food in an inviting way, according to LA Live.
Chef Ben was joined by Cortnee Roman, a nurse practitioner who works with MS patients, where he discussed his life and work, offered tips on how to minimize your time in front of a hot grill while making something delicious this summer, dished on what his dad Harrison Ford’s favorite food is (hint — it is exactly what you think), talked about MS, what people can do to help family and friends who have MS and how important the Reimagine MySelf project is so important to helping people who are living with this disease.
See full interview below
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision for Chase Sapphire Preferred/AP Images]