Our People

Why I Came, Why I Stayed: Methodist Women's Hospital cook Emily Lara loves making a difference with food

Published: June 12, 2024

In “Why I Came, Why I Stayed,” you’ll get to know people who are making a difference every day at Methodist and how they contribute to providing The Meaning of Care. To explore career opportunities at Methodist, visit bestcare.org/jobs.


Emily Lara
Cafe Station Cook 
Methodist Women’s Hospital


Tell us more about yourself and your background with Methodist.

I'm responsible for multiple daily specials in the Methodist Women’s Hospital cafe. This includes entrees, vegetables and the soup of the day. I make sure quality food is served to our customers. 

I also prepare food for the physicians' lounge, and I'm involved with the annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs fundraising event.

I have three daughters and a son that I love very much. My main hobby outside of work is actually cooking different things.     


Why Methodist? What attracted you to the organization?

What attracted me to Methodist was the better opportunity for work in different areas. I always wanted to work for a hospital, and the benefits were a plus. My sister also worked for Methodist, and what better place to work at with a sister? 


What is it about Methodist that keeps you coming back?

I’ve stayed because I’ve seen the way food makes a difference if a person is going through something difficult. That’s why I strive to make good food. I’ve also had two of my children here, and the way they take care of you is the best. People should work here for the great services that we provide. We are all a part of that and can be proud.


Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Methodist?

One of my favorite memories is when we were able to show the work we do at my first Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) soup and art contest. We were able to show others what kind of chefs we have here at Methodist.


Have you had a mentor at Methodist who made a difference for you?

Chef Tom Shaw has always been a great person to learn from. He has taught me so much about food and how to expand my abilities – cooking in different areas and different cultures’ food. 


What should people know about Methodist?

Methodist Women’s Hospital is a great place to work. Methodist respects, offers understanding to and provides for different people in other cultures. We are The Meaning of Care, as we care for everyone we work with, from the kitchen to patient rooms. No matter where you’re from, you have the same respect and courtesy from everyone in the department.