Sister Alicia Torres, a Catholic religious sister from the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago competed on, and ultimately won, the Food Network’s competitive cooking show “Chopped” winning $10,000 for Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, which feeds its Humboldt Park neighbors with frequent home-cooked meals.
Sister Torres told the judges “The Lord gave me this talent, I believe the kitchen is my canvas where I get to express myself creatively.”
Sister Torres was one of four chefs cooking on the show. In contest is for the chefs to make a the best meal possible with a surprise basket of ingredients in a set amount of time.The competition is divided into appetizer, entree, and dessert rounds, with a contestant being voted off in each round. The particular theme of this episode was Thanksgiving ingredients.
In the appetizer round, Torres transformed leftovers into Mexican-style quesadillas. As the entree Sister Torres made a Mediterranean-style entree with curry turkey, a sweet potato cranberry hash and a dipping sauce with goat cheese and green beans. Sister Torres describes the deciding dish; pancakes with a dark chocolate sauce and cranberry salsa.
“Perhaps being on national TV and winning this competition will bring some attention to the issue of hunger and to the reality that God’s love is so strong and so big, he can take this little nun from Chicago who never went to culinary school to compete. … Literally nothing is impossible with God.”