A holiday feast

Photography by Seth Dixon

Few hospital events draw as many patient families as the delicious Cuban-style Christmas dinner prepared last week by chef, author and television personality Adrianne Calvo.

“I think the food we prepare is comforting because it’s a little piece of something that’s familiar to them,” says Adrianne, speaking of Latino families living at St. Jude. “It reminds them of normal times, of better times, and I think it gives them hope that those times will come again.”

The St. Jude cause is very near to the heart of the chef, who experienced the tragedy of losing her sister to cancer. Since then, the chef has helped St. Jude in every way she could. She has made a tradition of sharing a Christmas meal, and when she participated in the Food Network’s popular show Chopped, she chose St. Jude as her cause.

Patients like Darko and Miguel couldn’t stop smiling as they beheld the abundance of typical dishes, like juicy roast pork, sweet plantains, black beans, creamy flan and bread pudding.