Carla Hall is a co-host of ABC’s popular lifestyle series The Chew, seated alongside restaurateurs and Iron Chef America stars Mario Batali and Michael Symon, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly and health and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz. Hall is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” where she won over audiences with her fun catch phrase, “Hootie Hoo” and her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla’s approach to cooking blends her classic French training and Southern upbringing for a twist on traditional favorites. She is committed to health and balance in everyday living.
Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen — the chef’s first restaurant — open in NYC in late 2015. A fast-casual love letter to Nashville, the restaurant features iconic Nashville Hot Chicken and southern sides, anchored by Hall’s family recipes and perfected with her personal touches. Hall is also the owner of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory “petite bites of love” and other desserts. Her newest cookbook, Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World, was published in April 2014, and her first cookbook, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, was published in November 2012 and recently re-released in paperback.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Hall received a degree in Accounting from Howard University, but traveling through Europe awakened her passion for food and inspired a new career path. She attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland where she completed her culinary training, going on to work as a Sous Chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, DC. She also served as Executive Chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club, and has taught classes at CulinAerie, Sur la Table and her alma mater, L’Academie de Cuisine. Hall is a true believer that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a reservation”.
Carla is also active with a number of charities and not-for-profit organizations that reflect her passion for causes close to her heart. She serves as a Board Member for the Pajama Program and GenYouth. Carla also actively works with Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen Chef Network, DC Central Kitchen, The USO, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Feeding America, WCR (Women Chefs and Restaurateurs) and she serves on the advisory boards for the Edible Academy for the New York Botanical Gardens and for the Food and Finance School in New York City. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Matthew Lyons, and stepson Noah.
"Everything went so well with Carla! We loved having her be a part of the Mushroom Festival - she really added so much fun and laughter to her culinary demo that the audience truly enjoyed! She is so friendly and we are so grateful that she came to join us and would love to have her back anytime in the future! Thanks again for everything! "- Culinary Chairperson, Mushroom Festival
"Carla was great! She has an amazing personality and truly likes interacting with people, which you don't always see. She was a perfect fit for this event – we couldn't have been happier."- Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce
"It was a pleasure working with you and Carla. Even though she was on-island for a short time, she arrived and jumped right in! Carla was so warm and welcoming to all her fans, and the dinner was a hit. We were very happy and certainly had some fun hanging out. "- Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival 2015
"Carla Hall captivated our attendees with her blend of humor, southern humility and charm and business savvy. She transcended her roles as chef, restaurateur, author and television personality to connect on a more personal level. She was warm, personable, incredibly easy to work with and the attendees LOVED her. I would not hesitate to utilize her again for future meetings."- Les Dames d’Escoffier
"She was so easy to talk to and so welcoming to everyone. We loved having her here. She gave a wonderful speech and was very animated in her presentation, all from the heart and all without notes. She spoke of being her authentic self and her journey to get there. Everyone was thrilled with the day, and Carla was just a wonderful person to be with. She was more than happy to meet everyone, and was very engaging at her book signing. She has lots of new fans now. She was friendly with the other speakers and was such a wonderful person. She was very down to earth, practical, fun, and at the same time her words rang true with everyone and had a lasting impact."- The Women's Summit at Bryant University