COMPETITION: World Recipe Championship
QUALIFYING EVENT: 44th Annual Pillsbury Bakeoff
My name is Christina (Hillen) Verrelli. I live in Devon, Pennsylvania with my husband and two daughters. I have been cooking happily since I was 8. I grew up in a large family and as the youngest child in the family, I spent a lot of time helping my Mom in the kitchen. I learned all the fundamentals from working by her side. Growing up I enjoyed lots of time playing with friends, camping, doing crafts and cooking. I was always drawn to the old PBS cooking shows, cookbooks and cooking/home magazines.
I love all aspects of food: the colors, the aromas, the textures. It is my passion! I love trying to cook anything I haven’t attempted before. I love experimenting with new techniques. I try to perfect dishes I’ve prepared lots of times. I always want to develop the best way to prepare a dish and serve it in an inviting and beautiful way. Watching people enjoy my food makes me happy. When I go out to eat, I always love to try something new. I find inspiration in every menu and meal.
I entered my first contest, The 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off in 2010 on a whim. I figured I had nothing to lose and in this economy who couldn’t use some extra cash. I was shocked when I got the call that I was a finalist! The cooking contest “bug” had bitten me. From that point on I was reading about contests, researching and entering contests and networking with fellow contesters at Cooking Contest Central and on Facebook. I never knew there were so many great people with this common interest.
I was pretty successful in those first two years of my new hobby. Most recently, I was the winner of the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off held in March 2012; the “Holy Grail” of all cooking contests!! It still feels like an amazing dream!! I love having a way to express my creativity and feed my family and friends at the same time. Even though I was lucky enough to win “the big one” I still have goals I’m determined to accomplish. I aim to earn my way to a cook-off in NYC, California & Chicago.