Carla Hall at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market, Riverdale Park, Maryland, October 2009
May 12, 1964 |
|Education||L’Academie de Cuisine (Gaithersburg, MD), Howard University|
In catering, you're always changing; the client is always dictating to you in terms of their wishes.
Turkey is fine, but if I don't have the sides, forget about it. And cornbread stuffing is at the center of my plate. I will have about six sides and then a little bit of turkey and gravy.
I believe that there are no mistakes in the universe, so I think it all happens as it should!
I always tell people a clean cooking area is a clean mind which is available for the creativity.
I went to L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and I think French cooking is the basis for a lot of classical cuisine, a foundation of a lot of other cuisines. That said, it's not the only way to approach a cooking career.
I say 'no' to nothing, 'yes' to moderation. That's how I approach everything. No matter if it's candy or foie gras. When you have the real deal, you're satisfied with that one bite. I say go full throttle and call it a day.
When I do something that's stressful, I have to find a moment of peace, so I tend to meditate and get in the flow. It's a regular practice of mine.
One of my early childhood memories was my grandmother always having a bowl of Nestle chocolate bars at her house. My sister and I would argue over who could eat the chocolate bars. Looking back, I don't know why we just didn't share. We could have split them.
For me, I love the flavors of Southern food, and people usually think of Southern food as heavy and fattening, but it doesn't have to be.
Keeping your space clean is as much a part of the end result as the dish being tasty.
The biggest challenge of being a pastry chef is that, unlike other types of chefs, you can't throw things together at a farmer's market. When you're working with baking powder and a formula, you have to be exact. If not, things can go wrong.
When I first started cooking, I was very much an intuitive cook when it came to taste, but that didn't mean I didn't want to know why some things worked and why others did not. My interest took me to culinary school.
When people around me are getting rattled, I may just close my eyes and do a breathing exercise.
What I love about 'The Chew' is that we have these celebrities come on, and you get to see them in a different light, cooking or enjoying food, when we usually don't see them in that setting. So it's a lot of fun for their fans to see them be normal people and having that commonality of food.
I was in Paris, Milan and London from '89 until '91, and I did mostly runway modeling. I know there's so many people out there looking for pictures, but this was way before the age of the Internet, sorry!
My biggest fear has always been being 40 and hating my job. I love challenges. I'm not afraid to try anything.
I think of New Yorkers as not taking the time to talk to someone they don't know.
My plans are not to open a restaurant, but what I would like to do is open a kitchen somewhere in D.C. proper and have a chef's table where people can come and taste my food without having to have a catered event.