Ever since emerging on the TV screen as a contestant on "Top Chef," Carla Hall has been bringing joy into households with her mouth-watering dishes, zany demeanor and ebullient "Hootie Hoo!" The co-host of ABC’s "The Chew" is now sharing over 130 of her new creations through her just released book, "Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World."
Taking a global trip through kitchens only makes sense for the former Howard University accounting major who discovered a love for food while modeling overseas in Europe. Her second book is quite comprehensive yet extremely user-friendly with her personal tips added to the instructions.
"I want people to feel like I’m with them and they can’t mess up," she told Tasty Clips during a recent Q&A. "This is their dish. People forget that recipes are only a guide and they feel they have to follow them to the letter. I wanted to give permission to make it how they like it."
TASTY CLIPS: What’s the next food trend you see getting popular in America?
CARLA HALL: "Somebody said cauliflower. I don’t really think about trends. I think about foods I like. For instance, I started a year ago and wrote about hot fried chicken. Little did I know that the Nashville style was going to blow up! It was so random. I don’t cook like that."
TC: Are there foods that you don’t like?
CH: "I do not like liver. I know I’m from the south and that’s sacrilegious, but I don’t like it."
TC: How can you be surrounded so much by food and manage to keep your weight down?
CH: "I was in the right line when God created me. I was in that tall thin line. The opposite of that is I wasn’t in the breast line. I had no pick of my line. It’s in my genes. I also learned to eat in moderation. As I got older, I knew I couldn’t eat all I want. I do workout a couple of times a week and try to take the steps instead of the elevator. I think about those little things."
TC: What would we always find in your refrigerator?
CH: "Right now, you’ll always find eggs and salad because when it’s late and I’m hungry I’m always going to make an omelet. Lots of jams and condiments, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickle relish, not bread and butter, but any other kind."
TC: Would you comment on the growing acceptance of folks taking pictures of their food before eating?
CH: "I do it, too. I do it because I want to focus on a restaurant that’s small and give them some recognition. I do it for Twitter and Instagram. I think it becomes interruptive like with flash photography though and food can get cold. I think you should take [the shot] and push it through later. Take it and enjoy your meal."
TC: You’re on a top cooking show and have a couple of cookbooks out now, yet you’ve never had your own restaurant. Do you desire to do that one day?
CH: "I always said I’m not about that but now I am considering it. I’m working on project at Reagan National Airport with a group called OTG. I’m going to be working with them on a restaurant call Page. My name’s not on it, but I’m consulting. If that’s a good experience I’ll move forward. It opens in the spring of 2015."
TC: Top Chef is launching a new show bringing back former competitors. Are you involved with that?
CH: "No. They asked but my schedule never works out. I just can’t do it. Not because I’m busy, but I just don’t think I can do it."
TC: Where do you look forward to eating when you visit Los Angeles?
CH: "I’m going to go to Antonia Lofaso’s restaurant [Black Market Liquor Bar] in the valley. I’m going to have dinner at her place. I absolutely love her. [Also] Guiliano’s in Long Beach. [And] Mario Batali’s place Mozza, where I love sitting at the bar."
Hall is in Los Angeles this weekend to meet and greet her fans. On April 13th, from noon to 2 p.m., she’ll be at Sur La Table, Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., Ste. P-10. At 3:30 p.m., she’ll be giving a cooking demo on the USC campus as part of the L.A. Times Festival of Books.
She also owns Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisanal cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory "bites of love," such as the Pecan Shortbread with Vanilla Salt, and the Cheddar Pecan that she crumbles over her signature macaroni and cheese. Visit CarlaHall.com for more information.
THE HOUSE WAS ON FIRE!: If you somehow missed last Monday’s PBS airing of "In Performance at the White House – Women of Soul," don’t fret. The incredible concert and extras featuring show stoppers from Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Melissa Etheridge, Ariana Grande, Tessanne Chin ("The Voice" winner) and the Queen herself, Aretha Franklin may be seen online at pbs.org/whitehouse.
This is the event where that video went viral of Aretha allegedly snubbing Patti’s attempts to get her attention. It’s been taken down but if you look closely at the slick editing you’ll see Aretha only sang with her group and had no part in the group finale!
TASTY CONCERTS: Fresh off of a number of sold-out east coast engagements, former Floetry singer Marcia Ambrosius is bringing her "Friends and Lovers Tour" to the Gaslamp Restaurant & Bar in Long Beach on Thursday, April 17th. General Admission is $20…
Tickets are now on sale for the return of Ms. Lauryn Hill on Saturday, May 17 at Club Nokia. Visit AXS.com or call (213) 765-7000…
Justin Timberlake ‘s 20/20 Experience World Tour will return to North America for 13 more arena dates this fall. Promoter Live Nation announced that Timberlake will play The Forum on Nov. 24. Tickets will go on sale April 14, with pre-sales available for members of JT’s fan club, The Tennessee Kids (#TNKids) and through MasterCard on now! The tour has grossed near $200 million so far worldwide!
TASTY CLIPPETTES: FXX is giving Tracy Morgan is own adult sitcom to premiere next January…
James Bond director Sam Mendes would like Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") to play the next big baddie in the series…
New to DVD this week is the romantic comedy "Black Coffee" starring Lamman Rucker ("Meet the Browns"), Erica Hubbard ("Lincoln Heights"), Darrin Dewitt Henson ("Soul Food"), Gabrielle Dennis ("The Game") and Christian Keys ("Let’s Stay Together")…
Hot comic duo Key & Peele will produce and star in the reboot of the Police Academy films…
The cat’s out the bag! Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his Nick Fury role for the season finale of "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC…
Jaden Smith has a sequel to his successful remake of "The Karate Kid in sight…
Always A-List’s Jawn Murray reports that the cancelled VH1 series Single Ladies may be renewed for BET.
CASTING CALL: MTV is looking for people with bizarre, surprising and unheard of addictions or compulsive behaviors that have caused a breaking point in their lives. Things like celebrity and fame addictions, unusual eating addicts, cyber sex addicts, plastic surgery binging, etc.
If you look to be between 16 and 24, and your addiction is out of control, causing serious problems in your life and affecting the people around you, go to MTVHookedCasting@gmail.com and explain (in detail) what you’re hooked on, how far you’ll go to get your fix and how it’s affecting your life. Be sure to include your name, location, phone number and a recent picture of yourself.
TASTY QUIP: "The first thing I did was contact Muhammad Ali, essentially to get his blessing. I didn’t need it for legal consent, but I certainly wanted him to know I was out to make this film about the most controversial, notorious period in his life.
“I was able to get a meeting with him and his current wife Lonnie, and they totally got it. Lonnie said, ‘I don’t want my husband’s legacy white-washed.’ Because of Muhammad’s current health status with Parkinson’s, he’s not really able to do a productive on-camera interview. His mind is entirely there but he can’t verbalize."
Director BILL SIEGEL to LakeFrontRow.com on his documentary, "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" that makes its TV premiere Monday, April 14th as part of PBS’ "Independent Lens" series.
TC ON TV: LATE LATE SHOW (CBS) – April 11: Wanda Sykes… MTV MOVIE AWARDS – April 13: Rihanna & Eminem will perform their hit, "The Monster!"… WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE (BRAVO) – April 13: Nene Leakes… ELLEN (SYN) – April 15: Marlon Wayans… LIVE w KELLY & MICHAEL (SYN) – April 16: Whoopi Goldberg… CHELSEA LATELY (E) – April 16: Loni Love.
WORTHY CONSIDERATION: Nominations for the 8th Annual ADCOLOR Awards are being accepted until May 27. The awards highlight and honor the achievements of African-American, American Indian/Native American, Asian Pacific-American, Hispanic/Latino, LGBT professionals and diversity and inclusion champions in advertising, marketing, PR, media and entertainment.
Individuals may nominate colleagues, mentors, agencies and/or corporations for awards in seven different categories. Honorees in each category will be announced at their awards ceremony Sept. 20 at The Beverly Hilton. Visit ADCOLOR.org for more information.
TASTY QUIP FINALE: "With "Illmatic," I didn’t think about it. I just did it. I believe everybody has good instincts. Now I’m a man from that past and I’m supremely grateful. There’s a Nigerian proverb ‘What is past is prologue.’ I’m here today because of "Illmatic."
NAS, on the celebration of his landmark album with a special enhanced 20th Anniversary Edition, titled "Illmatic XX, to be released on April 15. A documentary, "Time is Illmatic," will follow.
"Tasty Clips" is an entertainment column published in The Wave to update readers on the activities and accomplishments of Black celebrities and artists on television, in music and at the movies. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tasty email@example.com.