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Question: What team were you on?
Hill: I was on Team Navy (the WINNING TEAM).

Question: What dish did you prepare?
Hill: Our appetizer was a stuffed bell pepper. The stuffing consisted of brown rice, black beans, red onion, spinach, mushrooms, seasonings, lime juice and some Caribbean jerk sauce. This dish of our meal was gluten-free and vegetarian. Our other dish was chicken marinated with teriyaki and Caribbean jerk on a bed of brown rice, with a side of steamed broccoli and a salsa packed with red onion, peach, mango, pineapple, tomato and jalapeño. We also added a small desert of baked nectarines drizzled with honey.

Question: How much planning was involved in preparing it?
Hill: After finding out our teams in the afternoon, everyone begins to chat with their team to figure out a rough idea of what they want to do, but we don’t know the rules until we arrive at the grocery store. Our nutritionist Randy Bird explained the rules at 5:45 p.m., and we had to have the food at the Residence Inn by 7:45 p.m.

Question: What role did the nutritionist play in the process?
Hill: Our nutritionist makes the rules for our ‘Hoos Top Chef challenge and presents them at the grocery store. He then becomes one of the judges.

Question: Who else were the judges?
Hill: Judges were our new assistant coach, Jenny Andrew, our nutritionist Randy Bird, and the Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, Holly Edwards. We were also introduced to and dined with Holly’s daughter Kristin.

Question: What did the judges have to say about your meal?
Hill: Our meal got a lot of positive comments. One HUGE mistake was made when we served our Vice Mayor, Holly, chicken breast. She is a vegetarian and does not eat anything with a face! We were so excited while plating our meals for the judges that we served Vice Mayor Holly Edwards our marinated chicken breast. Holly is a vegetarian!! She was a great sport about it, but reminded us that she does not eat anything with a face. Sorry again Mrs. Edwards!

Question: If you had to do it all over again, what would you change?
Hill: Hopefully we would not serve the vegetarian meat if we had the chance to do it all over again! I wouldn’t change anything else. Team Navy did a great job being creative with our dishes, excited about the competition and working as a team.

Question: How did this year compare to the competitions in the past?
Hill: Every year Hoos Top Chef is a blast. Everyone on the team gets really competitive and we make some really delicious meals.

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