Feb 20, 2018 / Spotlight
WFAA: Dallas chef making a difference in hospital kitchen
For the video and full story, watch here.
Most chefs spend decades trying to get where Venus DeJesus was back in 1996. After years of hard work DeJesus, an immigrant from Mexico, husband and father of two had made it to the top. He landed a job in one of Dallas' finest restaurants at the time.
"Fancy customers expect a lot," DeJesus said.
But then DeJesus did the unthinkable. He left what others would call a "dream gig" to take a position in a hospital cafeteria.
"I love it here," DeJesus said.
DeJesus didn't pick any hospital, he accepted a position at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children where he has put his fine dining skills to work for the last two decades. DeJesus arrives every morning at 2:30 to start baking gourmet desserts for some of the littlest customers.
"If the kids are happy, I am happy," DeJesus said.
Children come from all over the country to get treatment at Scottish Rite. Often they are in pain and don't have appetites. Like magic those appetites reappear the same time Chef Venus' desserts enter the room.
"Sometimes I'll deliver the food but I don't tell them I made it. I just want them to enjoy," DeJesus said.
The desserts look and taste like something you'd find at a five start restaurant. Parents of patients say these little treats and attention to detail make kids feel like kids again.
"I just want them to forget about their pain for a second," DeJesus said.
Chef Venus has been at the hospital for more than twenty years and he says he has no plans of making another career change. If anything he's looking for ways to keep feeding the children even after his work is done.
"If I ever retire I will come back here as a volunteer the next day because I just love this place so much," DeJesus said.