Food & Drink Health & Environment

Diabetes-Friendly Cooking with North End Chef Jose Duarte, Culinary Chair of Ritmos De Salud

Chef Duarte includes healthy alternatives like quinoa into his dishes at Taranta (Courtesy photo)

Although Chef Jose Duarte, owner and executive chef at Taranta in Boston’s North End, does not suffer from diabetes, he approaches food with those affected by diabetes in mind; his wife was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2006 and as a Latino, he understands he himself is also at a high risk of developing diabetes (a child of Latin descent born after 2000 has a 50% chance of developing diabetes in their lifetime).

A major part of understanding diabetes comes with learning how to keep blood glucose levels in a safe range. Carbs, fat, and sodium levels are aspects of a diet that should be monitored for every person to stay healthy, but especially for those living with diabetes (approx. 29.1 million in the US). Developing enjoyable, diabetes-friendly recipes can be time-consuming and challenging, however, Duarte has been successful in introducing recipes to promote healthy eating habits within his restaurant and at home, many based of them based on simple guidelines:

  • Make your own condiments (Duarte uses safflower oil in his homemade mayonnaise)
  • Consider eating more fish (it is rich in Omega-3s which help to reduce the risk of heart disease)
  • Add multigrains to your diet (quinoa and wild rice are great alternatives)

As the culinary chair of the annual ritmos de salud, being held this year on September 26th to benefit Joslin Diabetes Center’s Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI), Duarte has created a menu based on diabetes-friendly ingredients and infused with flavors from his home country, Peru. Duarte’s feature dish for the event will be Pisco Portón-cured Atlantic salmon smothered in a homemade, caper dill mayonnaise and served over quinoa crisps. Salmon contains a healthy fat-to-protein ratio, minimizing the risk of a spike in blood sugar— one of the main concerns for diabetics when choosing a meal. [hr]

Ritmos De Salud – Latin Music, Dance and Cuisine Benefitting Joslin’s Latino Diabetes Initiative

Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s largest diabetes research and clinical care organization, will celebrate with “ritmos de salud” at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter on September 26th, to benefit its Latino Diabetes Initiative.

Guests will enjoy an evening filled with upbeat Latin rhythms from Alexander el Cantante as well as a performance by Boston’s own “Salsa y Control” Dance Company; guests will be encouraged to join in on the dance floor. A fabulous array of food will be provided by some of Boston’s most renowned Chefs, led by our culinary chair – Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta.

Diabetes is a disease of epidemic proportions across all populations, affecting certain racial/ethnic groups in even greater numbers. National data demonstrates that Latinos have a two-fold increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to the Caucasian population.

Joslin Diabetes Center’s Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI) strives to improve the lives of Latinos affected by diabetes, or at risk for the disease, through culturally oriented patient care, education, outreach and research, as well as working to find a cure.

For more information please visit

WHEN:            Friday, September 26th, 2014, 6:00-10:00 p.m.

WHERE:           Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, 100 W. 2nd Street, Boston

FOR TICKETS:  Tickets ($75) can be purchased by calling 617. 309.2512 or emailing

About Joslin Diabetes Center
Joslin Diabetes Center, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is committed to advancing diabetes research, clinical care, education and health and wellness programs on a global scale. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real progress in preventing and curing diabetes. Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and is recognized worldwide for driving innovative solutions in diabetes prevention, research, education, and care. Its mission is to prevent, treat and cure diabetes and the organization’s vision is a world free of diabetes and its complications. For more information, visit


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