Carla Hall’s culinary expertise and bubbly personality won her legions of admirers on Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars, earning the Fan Favorite award and now, a high-profile job. This week, she joins chefs/restaurateurs Mario Batali and Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly (What Not to Wear) and lifestyle author Daphne Oz (daughter of Dr. Mehmet Oz) on ABC’s food-centric daytime chatfest The Chew, which is all about news viewers can use to eat better and be healthier.
“You have to be inspired to get back into the kitchen. Most people are bored with cooking every day. We're talking about things that you can make very quickly, inexpensively,” explains Hall, noting that topics will cover everything from shopping smarter at the supermarket to averting dessert disaster by turning a broken cake into a layered trifle with sherry, raspberry jam and cream.
Hall, a one-time model and actress who got into event catering but realized it wasn't for her, now calls herself a “recovering caterer” who is more than thrilled with her latest TV gig. “I love people and I love teaching, and this is doing demos, teaching and inspiring people, the best of all worlds,” she says.
Hall still runs a cookie company, Alchemy by Carla Hall, offering “sweet and savory cookies, about the size of M&Ms.” It’s based in Washington D.C., her home three days out of the week — she’s commuting between there and New York City, where she leased an apartment walking distance from The Chew‘s studio. “I’m a two-city girl now,” says Hall, who makes simple salad-and-protein meals for herself but otherwise leaves the cooking to her husband. “Matthew makes the spicy meatloaf with a black pepper chicken curry, which I love,” she says. “I have it at least once a week.”
The Chew premieres September 26 on ABC.
(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/GettyImages)