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.
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