It has been an amazing five years for chef extraordinaire, TV host, entrepreneur and author Carla Hall. Since we were first introduced to her on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” we have watched her career blossom and touch so many lives. It was a pleasure to catch up with her for “our anniversary” as she says since featuring her exactly five years ago when re-launched Cuisine Noir as the country’s first black food, wine and travel magazine.
With the fourth season of ABC’s daytime hit, “The Chew,” premiering on Monday, September 8, Hall is gearing up after a little summer break to head back to New York. Hall, who is joined by her co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz, says that after three seasons, they have really gotten to know who watches the show and what they what. “The premise is to get people back into the kitchen and to realize how much fun it is to be in the kitchen. I think because the recipes are approachable, the ingredients are approachable, the time it takes to make the recipes, all of that goes into a successful recipe and having people do it. We really try to do food that people can make every day,” says Hall whose favorite guests have included Tasha Smith, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jimmy Fallon, Curtis Stone and Howie Mandel.
The Life Outside of The Chew
Outside the studio, the wife and mother of one decided to get out of catering and start an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating “petite bits of love.” With Carla Hall Petite Cookies, don’t expect to eat just one with sweet and savory creations that include Mexican Chocolate Chip, Cheddar Pecan, Goat Cheese with Cranberries and Lemon Black Pepper Shortbread. Her personal favorite blend is the Cheddar Pecan, Harissa Spiced Nuts and the Mexican Chocolate Chip and coming soon is the Sweet Potato Cobbler Bar. All can be purchased on her website, CarlaHall.com and at select tea cafes in D.C.
Although she is a city girl now, her heart still is back in her native Tennessee. Hall’s style of cooking is a blend of her Southern heritage and classic French training. A riff of her kitchen will reveal lemons and a variety of oils (olive, sesame coconut) and vinegars since she loves acids. She also loves the savory teas by Numi to spruce of flavors in some of her dishes. In 2012, she published her first cookbook “Cooking with Love: Comfort Foods That Hug You,” that was followed by her second project earlier this year, “Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World.”
A true trailblazer of her own, she will announce a new project to the world and fans on Wednesday, September 24. Told not to reveal any details, we are just as excited as Hall is and will share the news once it is officially released.
Following Her Heart
The future truly is bright for Hall who loves what she does and it truly shows. Like many wanting to follow their own culinary dream, there is not to it but to do it as we have heard time and time again from chefs and others featured.
“I am one to follow my heart. One of the things that I got out of my career transition was to really follow my heart and I don’t know where it will take me. I just know that anything really big that has really happened in my life, I feel that the universe has handed it to me unmistakably on a silver platter. And I may have been scared or had a few doubts but unmistakably it was meant for me. So I don’t know where my path takes me. I am constantly in awe and being thankful.”
Be sure to check out the new season of “The Chew’ on ABC and to order copies of her two cookbooks, see a listing of scheduled appearance and to purchase from her petite cookie line, go to www.carlahall.com.
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