July 24, 2019
Our country’s military kids are something special, to say the least. They’re resilient, brave, and often wise beyond their years in the face of many sacrifices that come with being a part of a family that serves.
And while at this year’s Blue Star Neighbors Celebration, an annual celebration of the spirit of America – the kindness of military supporters across the country and their impact on the military family community, we had the pleasure of sitting down with one extraordinary milkid—Shamon Hill.
At 19 years young, he has some serious cooking skills, which earned him a ticket to proudly represent the “Military Brat” table alongside chef Chris Clime of PassionFish. The duo teamed up to bring together various ingredients (Everything Bagel Crisp, Coleman Mustard Aioli, Pickled Red Onions, Chopped Eggs, and Capers), which created one delicious appetizer. And it seemed those in attendance agreed as they took home the “Top Chef” award!
So to celebrate Shamon, we’re giving you a peek into his life as a military kid, his goals for the future, and his passion for cooking. Enjoy!
What has life been life for you as a USMC military child?
Life for me as a military kid is something different and could be challenging for anyone. You have military families that move around a lot, and then you have military families like mine that barely moved, so we didn’t have to worry about having to make new friends and adapt to new environments. I’ve only moved from New Jersey to Virginia to California and then back to Virginia.
What advice would you give to fellow milkids?
No matter what, you will be able to make it through – always. You have to be strong and confident in yourself that you’ll be able to make it through the struggles, because, besides moving from place to place (especially outside the country), there’s also deployment for active duty parents.
What are your goals for the future?
To work with Gordon Ramsey – or at least work in one of his restaurants. That may seem like a BIG step for me, but at the same time, he has been my role model in the culinary industry for the LONGEST. A side goal for me is to maybe become a little famous. Seems unrealistic, but I’ve already been a part of two events, and I feel like doing more events with Chris Clime will help me get my name out more and for other chefs to notice me.
What was your favorite part about teaming up with chef Chris Clime at BSF Celebration?
My favorite part about teaming up with Chris Clime at the BSF Celebration, besides coming out on top for 1st place, was seeing everyone’s faces light up after trying the dish. On top of that, was representing the “Military Brat” table. Everyone who came to the event was congratulating me and happy for me because a 19-year-old managed to catch the attention of a plethora of people.
How did you develop your passion for cooking?
I’ve been interested in culinary since 2013, but I didn’t start cooking big meals until 2014. I remember sitting in my seventh-grade class looking up different careers because, during that age, I was undecided on what I actually wanted to when I “grew up.”
What is your first memory/feeling of wanting to cook?
My first memory of cooking was after spending the night at my friend’s house; his mother taught me how to make spaghetti her way. I then took that information, brought it home, and recreated that meal for my family, and everyone loved it!
If you were stranded on an island, what five food items would you want to have with you and why?
I would bring: 1) Fruits 2) Vegetables 3) Water 4) Beef 5) Salad Dressing. I picked those items specifically because I’d stay healthy with fruits and vegetables, water to stay hydrated, beef to get some protein in my system, and then salad dressing for my vegetables because I can make a salad.
If you could prepare a meal for one iconic person, who would you want it to be and why?
My idol Gordon Ramsey. I would cook him an Italian dish, something with pasta in it because I love pasta dishes. There are so many different creations you can make, especially when you can make your own sauces and roux.
Let’s give it up for our nation’s incredible MilKids!
Celebrating, empowering, and supporting military family members like Shamon is what Blue Star Families is all about. And we wouldn’t be able to do just that if it weren’t for our incredible #BlueStarNeighbors—both people and organizations.
If you’re a military family member, we invite you to join Blue Star Families for free today. As soon as you do, you’ll have access to our thoughtfully-curated programs and resources to guide you through wherever you may be at along this journey. Or if you’re looking to uplift those who serve in your local community, click here to learn more about becoming a Blue Star Neighbor!