“I’ve Always Been Open To Wherever My Path Leads Me.”

By Michael P Coleman

For seven seasons and over 1,500 episodes, Carla Hall co-hosted The Chew on ABC.  Earlier this year, network brass very unexpectedly told her that the show was being cancelled at the end of the 2018 season.  The last of The Chew’s landmark run aired last summer.  The network replaced it with a lackluster additional hour of Good Morning America — but I digress!

carlahall cropTHE HUB caught up with Hall recently, as she prepped for the publication of her third cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday And Celebration, due October 23.  I found her to be smart, funny, engaging, and very…chill.  She was also enjoying her time off and excited about the book’s release. 

In the spirit of full and total disclosure, I kinda fell in love with Hall during our conversation! 

“I really don’t feel it yet,” Hall, 54 said during our EXCLUSIVE interview, of The Chew’s cancellation.  “We’re usually off during the summers.  I never expected to get an offer from a major network and to have the job, so to have had it for seven years, I feel really blessed.” 

Hall has always leaned into “the next big thing,” as it were.  Early in her career, she quit a lucrative job without any prospects for a new one.  Been there! 

“When I look back on it,” Hall recalls, “I tell people that while it may seem really brave, the bigger fear was, for me, hating my job. So I was running towards I don’t know what — but I just knew that I couldn’t have a job that I hated.  The fear was to get entrapped.” 

“I’ve always been open to wherever my path leads me,” Hall continued.  “I know it sounds so ‘flower child,’ but that’s honestly how I live my life.  The next thing will come.”

Hall is clearly talking about “the next thing” after her new cookbook. She bubbled with excitement talking about it. 

“I wouldn’t have been able to do this book without the experience of doing the first two, but I really feel like, for the first time, that this is truly my book,” Hall exclaimed.  “I started trying to dissect the differences between celebration foods and everyday foods.  People have a very limited view of what ‘soul food’ is, and I got so sick of people saying ‘soul food is going to kill you.’  We as black people weren’t valuing our food.”

“I also wanted to do this book to tell other people that just like Korean food or Italian food or Thai food, soul food has its place,” Hall continued.  “It’s really to honor our food so we can feel very prideful about it.” 

With her successes on The Chew and her three cookbooks, Hall’s fans may be surprised to hear that her next horizon may not involve food at all.  The talk show host, reality TV star, and author has been bitten by the acting bug. 

“I had a cameo on the movie Girls Trip, and I’d like to do more of that,” Hall confided.  “But I don’t expect to move from The Chew to being on a sitcom.  I realize that there is work that has to be put into the craft — into any craft — but I’m willing to do it.” 

For more information on Carla Hall, and to pre-order her new cookbook, go to carlahall.com


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Connect with freelancer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com, or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP


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