Carla Hall: Keynote Speaker
Carla is best known as a former co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew" who over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars”. Her work as a motivational speaker has included speeches for The National Society of Leadership and Success at Texas A&M University, the Alabama Women's Summit, and The Multi Unit Food Service Operators Conference. In 2020 she is a featured judge on Crazy Delicious (Netflix) and Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart (Food Network). Her latest cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, was published in 2018, landing on annual "Best Cookbook" lists across the country and receiving an NAACP Image Awards nomination. Carla is a graduate of Howard University.
Discovering your authentic self
Carla Hall’s ever-evolving career, from accountant to runway model to celebrity chef, is proof positive that it’s never about the destination, but always about the journey. Recently hailed in the Washington Post as “the most visible black person in food”, Hall is using the popularity she gained as a “Top Chef” fan favorite and co-host of the Emmy Award-winning television show “The Chew”, along with her entrepreneurial experiences, to build a brand that is grounded in authenticity. Using her guiding principle, “Say ‘yes’, adventure follows, then growth”, Hall believes that following our instincts leads us to opportunities we might never have imagined. Audiences will tap into their own authentic selves as Hall shares both the triumphs — and missteps — that kept her on the path to being true to herself.
Food DNA: Discovering My roots through food
For Carla Hall, two time “Top Chef” finalist, discovering her DNA history was an important part of understanding family lineage that had previously been lost to slavery. An unexpected bonus was insight to her own food cravings and palate. The table is traditionally a place where people come together to share their similarities, and in America our diversity of food traditions also makes the table a place where we can celebrate our differences. Carla will share stories from her journey across the Southern states to learn the American food traditions shaped by the African Diaspora. These food stories allow Carla to illustrate that by understanding how African American contributions are bigger than what they were given credit for, African American students can begin to own these stories and create opportunities for themselves.
Scare Me: Growth and transformation through facing your fears
Carla Hall does…..comedy? Okay, maybe the beloved host of “The Chew” is better known for her mouth-watering Southern cooking and warm personality, but performing stand-up is only the latest in a long line of fears she has faced, simply to challenge herself. Why? Because facing fears spurs growth and inspires transformation -- both things that have, ultimately, driven the success of this two-time “Top Chef” finalist who won over audiences to become Fan Favorite. Fear of failure threatened to keep Carla from achieving goals such as interviewing her childhood idol, Carol Burnett, or from serving the dish that won her the most praise as a “Top Chef” competitor. But the practice of repeatedly doing things that are scary has allowed her to stockpile an array of tools which she draws from during difficult times, stimulating personal growth and professional success. Audiences will witness Carla scare herself — live— with a comedy set and learn ways to map out their own fear-facing adventures.