"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." -Franciscan Sister Alicia Torres
Sister Alicia, who lives and works at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels on the west side of Chicago, was one of four chefs cooking with the typical makings of a conventional Thanksgiving dinner—turkey, green beans, potatoes and cranberries—on the special volunteer edition of the show.
In the appetizer segment of the contest, Torres transformed leftovers into Mexican-style quesadillas.For the entree, Sister Alicia made a Mediterranean-style dish with curry turkey, a sweet potato cranberry hash and a dipping sauce with goat cheese and green beans.
Here is what she wrote on Twitter on the day of the contest.
Sister Alicia is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, which serve the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, located in Humboldt Park, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. "With the economic crisis, families and seniors in the area do not have the necessary resources for sufficient heat and nutritious meals," the mission said on its website.Chopped = major blessing + joy! I'm still cooking .. for God's glory and my friends on the West Side! Thanks @FoodNetwork! #Chopped— Sr. Alicia Torres (@NunRun) November 12, 2015
The mission distributes food and clothing to residents of Humboldt Park on Tuesday mornings. The first Saturday of the month, the mission also serves as a model of how to efficiently run a mobile food pantry. The mobile pantry provides food and clothing for approximately 300 families.
Sister Alicia's victory brought a prize of $10,000 for Our Lady of the Angels. More importantly, it provided her the opportunity to shine the spotlight on hunger and poverty on the west side of Chicago and in many places in the U.S. "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," Sister Alica said in an interview with The Chicago Tribune.
And here is a video from an interview with Sister Alicia on WGN television in Chicago.
Siser Alicia was featured in the film Light of Love in 2013, a movie by the Imagine Sisters Movement, in which she discusses her religious calling.