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Hell’s Kitchen Finalist Turns Up the Heat for the 20th Sister to Sister Fitness Festival

A highlight of the 20-year anniversary of the Celebrating Life Foundation’s Sister to Sister Fitness Festival has to be the cooking demonstration by Chef Mary Lou Davis, the season 19 Hell’s Kitchen Finalist.

Chef Mary
Chef Mary Lou Davis learned alot about breast cancer after watching her Godmother, Jo Robinson deal with the loss of her sister to the disease.

The 20th Sister to Sister Fitness Festival 5k Walk/Run takes place Saturday, October 2, 2021, at the Alan E. Sims Cedar Hill Recreation Center, 310 East Parkerville Rd, in Cedar Hill, TX, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. This year’s theme is “One Step at a Time” and participants will also be able to join in the virtual experience that includes a T-shirt and a medal.

Chef Davis will be the celebrity chef for the 20th year featuring her signature shrimp and cheese grits and she will also prepare dishes for some selected breast cancer survivors and she’ll be joined by KRNB’s Daytime Radio Diva, Lynne Haze, as the host and Honorary Chairperson State Representative Carl Sherman (D-DeSoto).

Celebrating Life Foundation Founder Sylvia Dunnavant Hines expressed excitement at having Chef Davis for the celebration, ”Her performance on the show was great and her focus on and showcasing of healthy living spoke to the essence of Sister to Sister.”

The Chef’s appearance on Hell’s Kitchen wasn’t a well- thought out plan, though.

“It was honestly like a fluke the way it happened,” said the Chef describing her appearance on Season 19 of the reality cooking competition television series which is hosted by noted Chef Gordon Ramsay. “I started posting more pictures of my food on Instagram and somebody saw it. They reached out to me about being on Hell’s Kitchen. At first, I thought that it was a joke.”

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Davis said she later looked the person up that reached out to her on Instagram and found out that the woman was a casting agent for Hell’s Kitchen. In a FaceTime interview for the show she was selected as one of 18 chefs to appear on Season 19.

Chef Mary Lou Davis
Chef Mary Lou Davis, Season 19 Finalist from Hell’s Kitchen will do a cooking demo at the 20th Sister to Sister Fitness Festival.

“At first, I was so nervous being surrounded by all the other good chefs on the show. I kept thinking to myself, what if I am only on here because I am lucky. Maybe they only have me on here because I look like I am entertaining, and not because I have any real talent. It wasn’t until the challenge right before the black jackets were presented that I began to feel like I should really be there,” said the 29-year- old resident of San Antonio, TX.

Davis ended up as one of the two chefs presented in the grand finale to compete for a coveted head chef position at Chef Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen in Lake Tahoe with a $250,000 salary. Although the winner of the final challenge was Kori Sutton, Davis said she was still grateful for the experience.

“When it was just me with Kori, it didn’t feel like a competition. I was just focused on finishing the service, she said. “All through the show it felt like we had a bond. It was like we were a team until we got to the black jackets. Then we were still a team until we made it to the final two.

“We never had anything bad to say about each other. I am proud about how far I got on the show. If I didn’t win, she is the one that I wanted to win. She did a great job.”

Currently employed as a chef in San Antonio. Davis feels a special connection to Sister to Sister.

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“I saw what breast cancer can do to a family after my God-mother, Jo Robinson, lost her sister to breast cancer,” she explained.

And according to Dunnavant Hines, the more people involved, the better.

“Recent studies have shown that walking not only helps us keep a healthy body weight, but it also lowers hormone levels that increase the risk for breast and endometrial cancers. We want the community to get in good health – One Step at a Time,” she said.

The Celebrating Life Foundation is a non-profit organization devoted to making cancer powerless by educating, encouraging, and empowering the African American Community, Women of Color, and the medically underserved about the risks of breast cancer.

This program is being sup- ported by the Methodist Charlton Medical Center, the Desoto Parks and Recreation, KRNB Radio, WFAA, Texas Metro News, Circle Gx, I Messenger, Garland News, and the Alan E. Sims Cedar Hill Recreation Center.

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You can register online at www.celebratinglife.org. For more information, contact Celebrating Life Foundation at 214- 475-0661.

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