2011 | Dine

A view of “The Chew”

Local celebrity chef Carla Hall dishes about the TV show

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Carla Hall, the multi-talented Takoma Park resident who graduated from Howard University as well as L’Academie de Cuisine, and has been a model, chef, caterer, finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” and is now one of the hosts of ABC’s new daytime TV food show, “The Chew,” said she is starting to “settle in” to her frenetic schedule.

She spends Monday through Thursday at a rented Manhattan apartment (it’s furnished; she’s not crazy about the couch), and then heads home to her “very supportive” hubby for the weekend.

I caught up with Hall on Saturday, December 3 during a media tasting of Hall’s Alchemy by Carla Hall, a line of sweet and savory cookies, and Susan Soorenko’s Moorenko’s Ice Cream, a line of artisan ice cream sold at Sorrenko’s Silver Spring shop as well as at area stores and restaurants.

Hall rents space from Soorenko at her Silver Spring ice cream plant, where her staff makes the cookies that are sold online, and locally, including at Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café and Wagshal’s.

Hall was excited on Saturday because her cookies just started being sold at Eataly, the 50,000-square-foot Italian marketplace in Manhattan, opened in 2010 by Mario Batali and three partners.

Batali is also one of the co-hosts of “The Chew,” and Hall said he and co-host Michael Symon have given her a lot of good tips about how to simultaneously cook and talk on TV. 

Hall said it’s been different from her experience on “Top Chef,” where she was filmed only doing one of those things at a time—primarily just cooking.

A sampling of Moorenko's Ice Cream. Photo by Emma PattiOn “The Chew,” where she has to be witty with a whisk (or whatever the case may be), “it’s multi-tasking like nobody’s business,” Hall said.

Lining up her ingredients from left to right, demonstrating dishes she’s been doing for a long time, and coming up beforehand with a few salient tips have helped, she said.

Before the show debuted in September, Hall said the cast had two months of rehearsals, during which the directors told her to be more outspoken. Hall characterizes herself as on the borderline between being an introvert and extrovert.

Whatever she and the cast and crew are doing, it seems to be working. Hall said every week, the show’s ratings are increasing.

www.alchemybycarlahall.com, www.moorenkosicecream.com, http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-chew