Cooking it Up with Carla Hall

Carla Hall is best known as co-host of ABC’s popular, Emmy Award–winning lifestyle series The Chew. And on Nov. 2 she will bring her love for cooking to the Saint Martin’s Gala in the university’s Marcus Pavilion.

Hall won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars and shared her philosophy of always cooking with love. She believes food connects us all. She strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others.

Born in Nashville, Tenn., Hall grew up surrounded by soul food. When the time came for her to select her career path, she first opted for a business route. She graduated from Howard University and worked as an accountant for two years. Then she switched gears to work as a runway model. It was during that time, as she traveled (and ate) her way through Europe for a few years, she realized that her deep-rooted passion for food could be her career path. Today she is a trained chef who has worked in restaurant kitchens in and around Washington, D.C.

On the literary front, Hall has combined her love of food, people and culture to write several cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, will be published on Oct. 23. Her two other cookbooks are Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World and Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You.

The author says that one of the most positive aspects of her cookbooks has been having a voice for African American cooking and discovering the South. “It’s been an inspiration to check out your past and explore what culture looks like on a plate,” she says. Hall is active with a number of charitable organizations that reflect her passion for causes close to her heart. These include Helen Keller International, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with blindness and to prevent the causes and consequences of blindness. She is also the culinary ambassador for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Giving back has always been important,” says Hall. The TV shows and notoriety have offered a platform for me to be intentional and authentic about giving back and setting an example for others.” Carla will be doing that at the Saint Martin University’s Gala in November. The black-tie gourmet evening includes an exquisite five course dinner, cooking demos and a live auction benefiting Saint Martin’s student scholarships.

LEAH GROUT

For Additional Information

stmartin.edu/gala

Creating Jewelry That’s Unique and Personal

Some jewelry pieces evoke warm memories, have an important story, or once belonged to a loved one. These pieces are cherished as a family treasure that is passed on through generations. That’s the life jewelry should have, says Phyllis Harrison. She’s the co-owner of LeRoy Jewelers and The Art Stop with her husband, Steph Farber. “We believe jewelry should be deeply personal and be made to last lifetimes,” Harrison says.

That philosophy is at the heart of each piece of custom jewelry created at LeRoy Jewelers in downtown Tacoma. Harrison spends time learning not only about what the customer might want, but also why. She shares an example:

“A groom wanted a simple white gold wedding band, but also somehow wanted to use a yellow gold ring that was his grandmother’s. The groom’s grandmother had raised him and was a significant figure in his life.”

Harrison and Farber proposed casting a new ring around the old ring. The finished piece, from the outside, looked like a simple white gold man’s wedding band. On the inside his grandmother’s ring was clearly visible, including the engraving.

Another couple wanted matching wedding bands, but had differing ideas about what they liked. By learning more about them, Harrison found that the schwa (a vowel symbol that looks like an upside-down letter “e”) was meaningful to them. With the help of computer-aided design software and a 3D printer to create molds, Farber crafted matching rings that were beautiful and unique. These are characteristics that have described the workmanship at LeRoy Jewelers for more than 75 years.

“We can do just about whatever a client wants,” notes Harrison. That starts with finding the spark that sets the initial design concept in motion. Working within the client’s budget, the jewelers determine the best methods to achieve the desired outcome.

“We really pride ourselves on helping our clients tell their stories the way they want them to be told,” concludes Harrison.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information

LeRoy Jewelers

940 Broadway, Tacoma

253.272.3377

ljewelers.com

Home Spotlight: Creating a Forever Home

This family home is tucked away ideally in the woods atop a hill in Orting. But the owners wanted a larger space for their growing family. “Our vision was to be in our ‘forever home’ and have a place large enough and set up for entertaining. It was also important to have lots of room for the kids and their friends. We wanted it to be cozy and inviting, and that’s exactly what was created,” the homeowners now say.

Work began on the remodel in April 2017, and the updates were completed in January 2019. The remodeled home now has a new entryway with a custom tile “mat.” On one side, a glass double barn door opens to an office. On the other is the new dining room. The ceilings soar to 20 feet as you walk into the great room with a stunning stone fireplace. The grand space easily accommodates a reading nook and component cabinets.

The white window and door casings are a custom design, contrasting with the black metal window frames. The generous-size kitchen houses a 15-foot island for adequate seating. With a full-height tile backsplash and premium appliances, this kitchen checks off everything on the homeowners’ wish list.

The five-piece master bath features a freestanding tub surrounded by a vintage pattern and a fully custom-tiled walk-in shower with a bench and recessed space.

The second story now houses a bonus room, game room and fourth bathroom, making it a perfect place for a game night or sleepover. Bedrooms received new carpeting and the staircase was opened with railings for a more spacious feel.

In the end, these homeowners did not have an address change but almost everything else changed for them to realize their “forever home” vision.

LEAH GROUT

For Additional Information

American Dream Design Build

americandreamdesignbuild.com

Home Remodelers: Jim Burbridge & Scott Overby

Designers: Amy Moore & Michelle Tallent Images by Leah Shimanskiy

960 Degrees of Cool

Cocktails are making their mark in the South Sound. The craft cocktail scene is enjoying quick-pour growth, both in quantity and quality. Matriarch, En Rama and Devil’s Reef are just a few of the first-class, cocktail-first bars that have opened in the past year-plus. The latest addition to this superior party pack is Bar 960.

Inside Hotel Murano, this newest highlight opened in March. Bar 960 is a glowing, glass-art-themed bar to complement the Murano’s unique, colorful hotel experience. The newly designed bar was inspired by the tones and inflections of Murano glass. (The Venetian island of Murano has been an expert artisan glassmaking center for more than 700 years.) The bar is aptly named for the temperature of glass-cooling ovens.

Bar 960 opens to the hotel lobby’s expansive windows, giving guests a view of the radiant space as it shimmers and reflects onto the sidewalk outside. Inside, custom wall sconces and warm tones are complemented by a cozy fireplace. A leathered granite-top bar is the heart of the space. It is surrounded by upholstered leather sectionals to sink into with your favorite (or new favorite) cocktail and good conversation. Custom geometric wool rugs soften underfoot.

The menu features light-fare, must-try shareable plates. These include freshly shucked oysters and the 960 Burger made with wagyu beef. Top these off with a refreshing selection of microbrews and creative cocktails. The chai-infused Spiced Sidecar, for one, is a perfect partner for a craft cocktail adventure.

Hotel Murano is Tacoma’s most artistic lodging. It pairs comfortable guest rooms with a collection of glass art from around the world worthy of exhibition. The vibrant downtown location is close to museums, fine and family dining, and the waterfront. Relax after a long day of meetings or kick off a big night on the town with a stop at Bar 960.

EMILY HAPPY

For Additional Information

Hotel Murano
hotelmuranotacoma.com
253.238.8000