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August 18, 2010
By Kendahl Voelker

What. A whirlwind.

Overall, today could be considered an “active recovery” day. At 10 a.m., we had team and individual class pictures on the lawn. Media day is always a highlight because its one of the few times we actually put time and effort into our hair! Hair management was key today. It was so humid that my straight hair immediately went curly 10 minutes after re-straightening a second time!

The team first took jumping pictures on the front steps, then each individual class paired off and did their own thing. For our fourth year photo, we decided to “hang out with Homer.” Literally. We got on the statue and sat on him. The rest of the team left for Mem Gym and left the lawn to us. Syd, AJ, and I had to mean mug for the camera. It’s hard to keep a straight face. Note to self: a good tip is to clench your jaw. It works.

Once back at Mem, head shots and full body individual shots were taken followed by fourth year individual shots. AJ had some sweet blocking pictures, the only ones of her collegiate career. I’m so proud!

After Mem, we all had to help move in the first years. Its always fun to go back to good ol’ Bonnycastle and look in my old room to see what they’ve done with it! But when I pop my head in to say hello and be friendly, I think I come across as creepy. Maybe it’s my height… Sorry, I’m not sorry.

When the firsties were all settled and my legs were quite warm from doing so many flights of stairs from the dorm, we had a lifting session in McCue. Like I said, this was an active recovery day from jumping for photos, doing heavy lifting, flights of stairs, and lifting weights! Even though we had a seemingly long morning, it was all worth it when the team met up at Kroger to kick off the HOOS TOP CHEF!!!

The Orange team, my team, made a shrimp and black bean chili with bell peppers and onions, served over brown rice. For appetizers, I grilled zucchini, onion, pineapple, tomato and bell peppers on skewers. Team Navy cooked broccoli, stuffed bell peppers, chicken, brown rice and some sort of awesome salsa. Each team made a sort of dessert with fruit, but MY team also made a drink to go with it. Some call it “Liquid Calories” like Sydney, but you may know it better by the name of “Arnold Palmer.” Whatever you decide to call it, Jess and Hillary made it refreshingly perfect.

Randy, our new nutritionist, Jenny, our new assistant coach, and the vice mayor of Charlottesville were our judges for the evening. But might I add that this year certainly showed much more twists with dietary restrictions. The meals had to be gluten free and have a vegetarian option!

Overall the Navy team won. After we left the Top Chef Arena (Residence Inn Conference room), a mass clean up of both apartments ensued, but back at my spot, a dance party accompanied the clean up. Rachel has some sweet moves. She rocks.

Now my apartment is spotless again, PLUS it smells amazing! This was the most fun I’ve had during the Top Chef competition and it gets better every year! Maybe I can come back as a judge once I graduate!

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