Kettering restaurant to limit hours while chef/owner battles cancer

Jenn DiSanto is preparing for a fight.

The vivacious chef and owner of Fresco Foods in Kettering’s Fountain Square Shopping Center was in good spirits when we spoke shortly before Thanksgiving even though she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The mother of two revealed that diagnosis publicly on her business and personal Facebook pages this week as well as short-term plans for her carry-out and eat-in, prepared and made-to-order eatery at 3141 Far Hills Ave.

"I'm a scrapper!!! I have every intention of kicking cancer's butt!! I will be undergoing treatment on December 17. In preparation of this, and in order to follow through with our commitments for upcoming events over the next few weeks and in an effort to not wear out our amazing Fresco staff we will be open very limited hours. We will be open a few of the days this week for lunch and will post this on both Facebook and our website. If you have orders placed and parties scheduled, please rest assured that we will be there for you. Our team will continue to help with both catered events and limited dine-in hours while I recuperate post surgery for the few weeks following the 17th," the Buffalo, New York native wrote.

Today she told me that she revealed her diagnosis publicly partly to support others battling cancer and to encourage other women to be in tune with their bodies and go with their guts when something just doesn’t feel right.

DiSanto said technicians did not spot cancer on her mammogram, but because she told her doctor she felt soreness, other tests were ordered. The cancer was found on an ultrasound.

“Early detection is the critical piece,” DiSanto said.

She said she has been blown away by the support she has received from friends, costumers and other restaurant owners and workers. They have offered everything from help with her kids to information.

Elizabeth Wiley and Liz Valenti both of Wheat Penny and Meadowlark will assist DiSanto and her staff with some events.

“The city and the support it has given me has been unbelievable,” DiSanto said. “This is a remarkable community to be part of.”

DiSanto offered advice to area readers planning Thanksgiving dinners a few days before thanksgiving during a live chat.

Click here to read the advice and questions.

When we spoke to her before the live chat, DiSanto mentioned the irony that she participated in recent events that support breast and other cancers.

In October, she and five other chefs loaned their talents to a fundraiser for the Cancer Support Community Western Ohio.

Read Meredith Moss' Good Cook column "Cooking with good health in mind"

DiSanto told Moss that she often made dishes for individuals and families going through cancer treatment.

Cooking has always been a part of DiSanto’s life.

The daughter of a butcher grew up cooking with her parents and still loves making meals with her six sisters.

DiSanto and her husband moved their family to Washington Twp. six years ago from Brussels, Belgium.

DiSanto had taught cooking classes at the American Club of Brussels and catered events for diplomats and other guests.

She owned a catering business in Connecticut before moving to Europe.

Her Facebook post pointed to her fighting spirit and concern for others despite the troubling diagnosis.

“I do appreciate your understanding and support with this. I also encourage all women to know yourself and if you suspect something, get it checked out! Fortunately for me this was caught very early. I have no doubt I will fully recover in a very short time frame and I so appreciate everyone’s support and understanding and of course supporting Fresco during limited hours over the next few weeks and especially when I come back after the short hiatus ready to cook for you again!!! Thank you and much love to you all,” she wrote.

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