Carla Hall is a chef and entrepreneur who is a former contestant on Top Chef and co-host of The Chew.
Born on May 12, 1964 in Nashville, Tennessee, Carla Hall worked as an accountant and model before turning her sights to cooking. She established herself as an executive chef and launched a number of businesses that included her own catering company and an artisanal cookie line. Hall has become an author and a media personality as well, having starred as a contestant on two different seasons of Top Chef and serving as co-host on the hit ABC daytime show The Chew.
Carla Hall was born on May 12, 1964 in Nashville, Tennessee. She went on to attend Howard University’s business school in Washington, D.C., earning her degree in accounting and then working for a time at Price Waterhouse, becoming a CPA. She eventually decided that career path wasn’t for her and traveled to Europe to work as a runway and print model. It was while overseas taking part in the social scene that Hall began to develop her passion for cooking. She was also inspired by how her Grandma Thelma crafted meals well into her later years.
Contestant on 'Top Chef'
Returning to the states, Hall started a lunch delivery business and then attended L’Académie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland, earning her certificate in the mid-1990s. After sous and executive chef positions at establishments like the Henley Park Hotel and Washington Club, she launched her own company in 2001, Alchemy Caterers. She would also become the owner of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisanal cookie line sold online as well as in stores across the East Coast and Midwest.
Hall eventually became a media personality as well, starring as a contestant on the reality TV series Top Chef from 2008-09 and making it to the finals. Known for her trademark shout “hootie hoo!” and her continued call to prepare food with care, Hall would return to the program three seasons later and was voted “fan favorite.”
Star on 'The Chew'
In the fall of 2011, Hall joined the cast of The Chew, a daily lifestyle show on ABC that has major cooking components, with fellow co-hosts including Mario Batali and Michael Symon. The series has grown into a popular daytime mainstay. While handling hosting duties, Hall has also taken on the title of author, having published the books Cooking With Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You (2012) and Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes From Around the World (2014).
"After the first three months on The Chew, I gained 20 lbs. We were making five dishes for each show, two shows a day. And I was eating the whole plate. I had to learn to just have a taste."
Hall wed photographer and lawyer Matthew Lyons in 2006, and she has a stepson, Noah.