Little Company of Mary’s Centered Chef Program Offers Cancer Patients and Survivors a Five-Star Culinary Experience

Chef Ryan Helps Educate Patients about the Importance of Healthy Living

Since its inception in 2009, Little Company of Mary’s Centered Chef Culinary Classes have played an integral role in helping cancer patients heal the mind, body and spirit with healthy and delicious meals. The Centered Chef is just one of many programs Little Company of Mary’s Integrated Therapy Department offers free to cancer patients and their families.

As a nation that loves to eat, we hold food and the people who prepare it, very close to our hearts. Chef Ryan Hutmacher is the culinary instructor for Little Company of Mary’s Centered Chef Cooking classes. Chef Ryan is loved and admired by many present and former cancer patients that attend his cooking demonstrations every quarter at Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Café 95.  Each cooking class features a nutrition lecture and live cooking demonstration all within a supportive group setting.

69 year-old Patricia Gray was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2013. It was during her first visit with Little Company of Mary’s fellowship-trained breast surgeon, Dr. Nancy Taft, that Patricia learned Little Company of Mary offers patients free holistic programs such as guided imagery, yoga, mini spa services, massages, art, and healthy cooking classes. Since then, Patricia has never missed a cooking class. She is accompanied every quarter by her 40 year-old daughter, Charmaigne and 14 year-old granddaughter, Cayla.

“My granddaughter, Cayla has prepared a few meals for her friends that she has learned here at Little Company of Mary’s Centered Chef,” said Patricia. “Cayla’s teenage friends are now lemon and herb-infused baked Tilapia fans.” “Everything Chef Ryan makes is absolutely out-of-this-world delicious and did I mention healthy?” Lemon and herb-infused baked Tilapia over a bed of mixed greens is among the many delicious recipes taught at the Centered Chef.

Each of Chef Ryan’s curricula includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work together to promote health and fight disease in the body. Chef Ryan makes learning about the complex science that foods plays towards our body’s daily function and support fun and entertaining. The end result of his lecture is a mouthwatering, delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare meal.


Chef Ryan Hutmacher is the co-founder of Centered Chef located in Chicago’s West Loop area. The Centered Chef culinary studio is a platform where Chef Ryan integrates his penchant for healthy and nutritional food in a chic and social environment. Chef Ryan takes cooking with a healthy twist personally as ten years ago; he struggled with obesity, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. Today, Chef Ryan is physically fit and he credits it to a healthy eating and fitness lifestyle. Most recently, Chef Ryan won a national television culinary competition. He was one of six finalists on the ABC midmorning program-The Chew. Cancer patients hold a special place in Ryan’s heart as his mother most recently lost her seven year battle with ovarian cancer. “I want to do my part in fighting the war on cancer, one plate and fork at a time!” said Chef Ryan.


Little Company of Mary Hospital recognizes the importance of holistic health in the healing process and is responding to the needs of area cancer patients and their families who want access to these types of services. Integrative Therapy offers a full array of integrative therapy services for cancer patients, such as acupuncture, hypnosis for relaxation, guided imagery, massage therapy, yoga, Tai Chi and healing touch, post-treatment esthetic care, including prosthetic and make up counseling. This is in addition to all of the conventional cancer services offered at Little Company of Mary Hospital. The holistic therapies provide support and help patients become confident cancer survivors. The Cancer Center’s Integrative Therapy Department of Little Company of Mary Hospital was the 2013 proud recipient of the Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence. The award was present at the hospital’s premier gala-The Crystal Heart Ball.

For more information on Little Company of Mary’s Integrated Therapy programs, please  call Kelly Walsh at 708.229.6015. For a sneak peek into Little Company of Mary’s state-of-the-art, accredited and comprehensive Cancer Center, visit

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