“I want to make fantastic food for people who appreciate it.” That’s how Chef Sharif Ball describes his mission at Hilltop.

Chef Sharif Ball

The 15-year veteran chef, former head cheesemaker at Beecher’s, and previous contender on the Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, Chef Ball brings a lot to the table when it comes to experience and creativity. In fact, one of his favorite parts of the job is coming up with a different meal almost every day. A meal made with fresh ingredients, home-grown herbs like sage and basil and not-so-ordinary vegetables including lemon cucumber and heirloom tomatoes.

Although the cuisine he enjoys making most is German, Chef Ball’s frequent world travels to London, Italy, Portugal and beyond are often reflected in his ever-changing menus. Residents dine on everything from Pork Wellington and French pastries to Caprese salads and American meatloaf (a Hilltop favorite, along with Ball’s lemon meringue pie). Daily menus typically include a choice of two main entrées (including a vegetarian option), two to three starches and vegetables, and a special piled-high salad of the week.

What makes mealtime at Hilltop such a widely anticipated event? “Quality ingredients are a must,” says Chef Ball, “But also, a whole lot of love goes into each dish.” Evidently, the people who live here feel — and taste — the love. “Making people happy and knowing you brought that smile to their faces is one of the best parts of working here,” he says.

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