Cooking nun Sister (Chef) Alicia Torres’ Chopped victory is a win for the poor, too.
Chopped is quite a popular Food Network show, but its latest winner is getting more attention than usual, and it’s well deserved. A Chicago nun, Sister Alicia Torres, won the competition, earning a whopping $10,000. She was one of the four chefs who were competing in last week’s special episode which was a tribute to Thanksgiving.
Sister Alicia Torres is a member of the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago and her order serves Our Mission of the Angels located in Chicago, Illinois. Sister Torres is a bright, young and vibrant woman and her victory has broken many stereotypes that surround nuns. She is a nun who wanted to show the world the other side of the religious sisters’ lives.
Torres has been a nun since the age of 24, which breaks another stereotype that nuns have been living and practicing since the millennials. Currently, she is 30 and enjoying life to the fullest. She is not like the other women who feel that their lives have come to an end as soon as they step in to the age 30 threshold.
Even though Sister Alicia Torres has won $10,000 for winning this cooking competition, she will not be keeping any money for herself. Instead, she will be able to pursue her mission of providing more home-cooked meals for her neighbors who reside in Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago.
When suspicions arose regarding her culinary skills, she humbly replied that it was all the Lord’s wish and doing. She believes that the kitchen is her canvas where she has the opportunity to express things according to her free will.
The final episode’s theme was based around the idea of typical Thanksgiving items. These include green beans, turkey, potatoes, and cranberries. The contestants were required to make three course meals out of these traditional Thanksgiving ingredients. In the appetizer round, Alicia managed to change leftovers into delicious quesadillas which she made in the Mexican style. For the entrée, she made a Mediterranean style dish which consisted of curry turkey, a sweet potato cranberry hash, and a dipping sauce which was made of green beans and goat cheese. The dessert round was between Torres and Bonnie Kepplinger. Sister Alicia presented a green bean ice pop pancake and a milkshake.
For the last round, the judges based their decision on how well both the contestants performed throughout the competition, as both the dessert dishes were neck and neck. Sister Alicia ultimately emerged as the winner.
Even after winning such a major competition, she still remains humble. She even declined an offer to host her own cooking show, completely relying on God for what the future holds for her. As she says, “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.”