What better place to be on President’s Day than to be on The Chew. I had the opportunity to come across some tickets to attend this particular episode and I took it. They asked the crowd to wear our American colors and I was ready!
As I awaited in the Audience Holding Room to go on set I was handpicked to be present on the Tasting Table, I was honored and definitely took the producer up on the offer. We were brought onto the set and I so was excited by the energy that filled the room from the friendly production crew and set decor. I was then taken to my designated seat with plate setting. Bright lights, cameras, producers, and of course the infamous Chew Hosts, Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Daphne Oz, Carla Hall, and Clinton Kelly were preparing for the show. The hosts were dressed as past presidents and Carla was dressed as an African American poet, to represent for Black History Month.
Time had flew and we had 10 seconds before we went live! I was filled with excitement, anticipation, and a bit nervous. Self thoughts began to chime in, was I ready, did I look alright, this can’t really be happening I thought? Action! *Long Round Of Applause* I seen the recording red light beaming towards me and I knew I was on national TV.
As the show went on, I began to relax and enjoy the show with everyone else. Between breaks, I really got to see how it all happens and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the co-hosts interacted with one another. It was as if they had been friends forever and having a gathering at one of their homes.
Michael and Mario prepared a sweet potato and ham casserole, which in turn was brought out to us to eat. As many of my friends, family, and some of my readers know that I don’t eat pork for religious reasons. Once it given to me, I ate around it for the sake of the video shot agreement I made before the show started.
Joan and Melissa Rivers guest starred on the show and prepared dessert alongside Carla Hall. Joan Rivers was hilarious! Before you knew the show was over. The chefs came over to greet us at the tasting table which I thought was very personable.
After the show I was given the opportunity to speak with Carla Hall and ask her few questions;
Carla Hall is best known from BRAVO’s Top Chef and although she had to “pack her knives and go” she was later named Top Chef All-Stars Fan Favorite.
Starting out as a chef, who was your mentor and what inspired you to leave the world of fashion to pursue culinary arts?
“My grandmother was probably my greatest mentor. I was a late bloomer when it came to cooking, and she gave me my first rolling pin…at 24. Fashion wasn’t a necessarily a destination for me, but a transition from Accounting to what would hopefully be a career that I would still love at 40. It was a series of Sunday brunches in Paris with a bunch of models when I discovered a desire to prepare food as much as I enjoyed eating it.”
As so many other great African American women make history, what influence would you like to have on other aspiring female chefs?
“I would tell them to respect and honor the power that you have when making someone’s food. Also, as women we tend to be very agreeable and accommodating, to this I would say “Delegate the work, not the vision.”
How did Top Chef elevate you to the next level?
“Top Chef gave me the platform to challenge myself well beyond anything I thought I could ever do. I now have the confidence to try things that I would have never thought possible. It’s an incredible gift that keeps on giving. On a completely different note, the increasing popularity of TC has made many of the chef’testants household names, which has been beneficial in opening many doors for me.”
What other aspirations to do hope you to achieve in the near future?
“My first cookbook is being released on November 6th this year and another one next year. I hope to grow my petite cookie company, Alchemy by Carla Hall, tenfold in the next 5-7 years, which would include additional product lines. This means finding a partnering manufacturing and distribution company. I would like to do something really fun like community theater.”
It was a pleasure to chat with her, as most fans might wonder is she as nice in person as she is on TV. Carla Hall’s personality is amazing, she’s bubbly, knowledgeable, and exudes a humble spirit. It was great to be in the presence of all the chefs and I have definitely become a greater fan after meeting them in person!
To catch this particular President’s Day episode, watch at 1pm today on ABC! If you happen to have missed it, click on this link to view; http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/episodes
Photo Credits: ABC Studios, Isaiah Kelsey