When his son Sebastien was diagnosed with a rare Mitochondrial disorder, Tampa (Fla.) Yacht & Country Club Executive Chef Jean-Christophe Setin created the Provencal Meat and Poultry Rub, from which all proceeds go to Mitochondrial research.
In 2005, the son of Tampa (Fla.) Yacht & Country Club’s Executive Chef Jean-Christophe Setin was diagnosed with a rare Mitochondrial disorder. The Setins wanted to make a difference, giving Sebastien the chance to see progress in this area of research. So, the Provencal Meat and Poultry Rub was born.
Comprised of 17 individual spices, the rub is an all-purpose seasoning. It contains no MSG and is entirely natural. Further, all the proceeds from the spice rub go directly to Mitochondrial research.
C&RB spoke with Chef Setin about his son’s condition and his and his club’s efforts to raise funds for research into a cure.
Q: Can you explain your son’s condition?
A: Mitochondrial disease is actually a group of diseases. Mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouses, making our bodies’ energy, and their failure to function properly has a wide range of effects on the brain, heart, muscle and other systems. Mitochondrial defects or dysfunction are proven to be core elements in common neurodegenerative and neurological diseases: Autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy, chronic fatigue, diabetes and more.
Sebastien’s mitochondrial cells do not produce enough energy for him to grow. As a result, he is hearing impaired, has major cognitive delays and gets extremely tired very quickly. He had a stroke at 4 years old and takes aspirin every day to avoid another. Recently, his cerebellum, the lower part of his brain, started shrinking due to the lack of energy for growth. This is causing him to slowly lose his ability to walk.
There is no cure for this disease and while Sebastien may not live long, we are determined to make a difference for generations to come.
Q: What is the product you developed to help raise funds?
A: The Provencal Meat and Poultry Rub is a versatile spice blend. It’s completely natural and is made to enhance the flavor of meats whether they are grilled, seared, roasted or braised. Visit www.chefjeanchristophe.com for more information.
Q: How did you develop it?
A: My father is a butcher by trade. I worked in his shop for years in France and we made all kind of sausages and pates. He used to mix spices himself to make these products. When we found out about Sebastien, we decided to create a spice like the ones my father uses and sell it to raise money for research.
Q: How is TYCC helping with your fundraising efforts?
A: My GM and the members have been extremely supportive of our efforts to raise money for Mitochondrial research. They have allowed me to host a fundraiser here and also reaching out to our members in order to spread awareness. The committee we created is actually composed mostly of TYCC members.
Q: What would you like to ask of your chef colleagues?
A: The first thing is to help raise awareness and also try to connect with families dealing with Mitochondrial diseases. We made a short film on YouTube and if others could share it through Facebook or other social networking sites that would help a lot, too. I have a chef page on Facebook, Chef Jean-Christophe Setin, and a special page for Sebastien called “Sebastien’s Smile.” One of the challenges is to find and reach other families affected by this disease. All together we could make such a huge difference.