Celebrity chefs, pediatric cancer patients team up
The first ever Celebrity Chef Cooking Demo at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital celebrated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The September event paired Houston chefs at food stations with young cancer patients to show off a variety of delectable and nutritious dishes.
Chefs from Third Coast Restaurant and Conference Center, Spitfire Provisions catering company and Peli Peli Hospitality Group donated their time and talents for the event, joining food writer and chef Adán Medrano in cooking up healthy light bites.
“It’s great what MD Anderson is doing for its patients, and I’m honored to be part of this event,” says Jon Buchanan, executive chef of Third Coast Restaurant.
Buchanan teamed up with 8-year-old Scotlyn Perini to prepare pumpkin soup with crème fraîche and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Other hits included Medrano’s chipotle turkey tostadas, Spitfire Provisions owner Jehn Ngo’s mini portobello mushroom burgers, and cauliflower rice prepared by Ryan Stewart, executive chef of Peli Peli Hospitality Group.
The team of chefs worked exclusively with patients, giving them an opportunity to learn about the ingredients and become real-life sous-chefs for the day. Onlookers including patients, caregivers and employees enjoyed free samples, and the young chefs received commemorative aprons.
“We were excited to pair local chefs from Houston’s dynamic culinary scene with our patients to demonstrate that recipes emphasizing vegetables and lean meats can be delicious and nutritious,” says Joya Chandra, Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatrics Research at MD Anderson. Chandra’s research highlights the importance of healthy eating for patients during and after treatment.