Who Is Carla Hall?

Chef 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 seasons of Top Chef and serving as co-host on the hit daytime show The Chew.

Early Life

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.

'Top Chef'

Returning to the United 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 and 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 2008-2009 and making it to the finals. Known for her trademark shout “hootie hoo!” and her continued call to prepare food with care, Hall returned to the program three seasons later and was voted “fan favorite.”

Carla Hall Photo
Carla Hall
Photo: Frances Janisch

'The Chew' and Books

In the fall of 2011, Hall joined the cast of The Chew, a daily lifestyle show that has major cooking components, with fellow co-hosts including Clinton Kelly 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).

Personal Life

Hall wed photographer and lawyer Matthew Lyons in 2006, and she has a stepson, Noah.


  • Name: Carla Hall
  • Birth Year: 1964
  • Birth date: May 12, 1964
  • Birth State: Tennessee
  • Birth City: Nashville
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Female
  • Best Known For: Carla Hall is a chef and entrepreneur who is a former contestant on 'Top Chef' and co-host of 'The Chew.'
  • Industries
    • Television
  • Astrological Sign: Taurus
  • Schools
    • Howard University
  • Nacionalities
    • American

Fact Check

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  • Article Title: Carla Hall Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/movies-tv/carla-hall
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: October 2, 2019
  • Original Published Date: July 24, 2014


  • If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a reservation.
  • I love making comfort food, like stews and chili, and bringing people together. Being in my home and being in my kitchen are about relaxing. It's like the Do Drop Inn: I want you to feel like you can drop in.
  • Contrary to popular belief, models can probably eat you under the table. We had these great big brunches at this woman's house named Elaine, and everybody would talk about 'oh, my mother does this' and 'oh, my mother does that.' And my mother made Aunt Jemima box pancakes, so I wasn't really contributing. But I was like 'Oh my gosh' at all the socialization that goes on in the kitchen, and I started buying cookbooks, and that was the whole thing of how this all got started.
  • 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.
  • It was a wonderful experience being on my own and being in a foreign country and thinking I was taking care of myself, but the fact is I had a bank account where I was not having to rely on the modeling.