Raleigh, N.C. — Fire in the Triangle continues its second round this week! Let's get to know some of the chefs.
Here's what Hill had to say about round one, looking ahead to round two and his connection to his fellow chef:
What surprised you most about round one? Thoughts on your secret ingredient?
Hill: The thing that surprised me most about round 1 was how well my team executed the somewhat ambitious menu that we put together in the time frame that was allowed. I was really proud of them! I think we were ready for just about anything but were very happy to see Joyce Farms Poulet Rouge. That ingredient, I felt, was a great one for all of the diners.
What secret ingredient in the first round did you most want to work with but didn't get?
Hill: I liked peaches in Battle 1. One of my favorite things to eat.
Going into round two, what do you absolutely not want to see as a secret ingredient? Any great combos you'd like to see - i.e. donuts and coffee?
Hill: Coffee and Donuts would've been a difficult one and I thought 518 West and Little Hen did a great job with those ingredients!
Do you know your competitor well? Any history of working together?
Hill: Scott James and I go way back. Met him when I first moved here from Wilmington at a culinary creative restaurant called The Fox and Hound (mid/late 90's) in Macgregor Village in Cary. I feel like that was a great experience and a launch pad for the both of us and I am very excited to go up against him in the Competition Dining Series. Chef James has a lot of talent; for y'all that had the pleasure of eating his food, you know what I mean! I looked forward to this opportunity last year, but it didn't work out that way.......but this year we get the chance to go up against each other. Should be a very interesting night!
What do you want to get out of this competition, besides winning?
Hill: Outside of this series, I don't get a lot of opportunities to go through the video interview processes, meeting other chefs in the area and competing with food. For all of these reasons, I really love this experience. Not to mention the buzz it creates for The Oxford in downtown Raleigh.
One thing you want to share with diners about you and your restaurant.
Hill: Everybody should come and spend an evening here. Come eat dinner and stick around and enjoy a late night at The Oxford. You can truly get the full experience of a "night on the town" here!
Chef Hill shared the following recipe for his Shepherd's Pie!
- 5 lbs ground domestic lamb
- 3 yellow onions brunoise
- 2 peeled carrots brunoise
- 3 stalks of celery brunoise
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups fresh peas
- 1 gallon veal stock
- red wine
- boursin cheese
- fresh thyme
- fresh rosemary
- fresh tarragon
- roasted onion yukon gold mashed potatoes
- all purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic in butter, then add tomato paste and cook until paste is darker in color. Deglaze with red wine of your choice and reduced to sec. Add ground lamb and sear. Add flour to create a roux. Add veal stock and simmer until thickened. Finish with fresh herbs and peas, salt and pepper to taste.
Top with mashed potatoes and broil until the top of potatoes are crispy and light brown in color.