Chef Carla Hall Talks Top Chef, the Shift from Caterer to Food Media, and How to Make Amazing Biscuits

chef carla hall
podcast with chef carla hall

About Carla Hall

Chef Carla Hall was a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. Carla spent 7 years co-hosting ABC’s Emmy award-winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew”. She’s been on multiple Food Network programs, was a judge on Netflix’s Crazy Delicious, and is a culinary contributor to “Good Morning America”. She’s the author of four cookbooks, in addition to a number of cookbooks put out by The Chew.

On This Week’s Podcast

On this week’s podcast, we discuss her Top Chef experience, and why she wanted to return for Top Chef All-Stars. We talk about the transition from catering to food media, licensing her recipes, and chef-in-residence programs. This is also a mini-Masterclass in biscuit-making. She talks about what makes a good (and bad) biscuit, and gives lots of actionable tips.

As always, the episode link is below, and the podcast is available on all platforms (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pandora)

Relevant Links and Where to Learn About Carla Hall

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Carlas’s Website

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You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

If you enjoy the show and would like to support it financially, please check out our Sponsorship page (we get a commission when you use our links).  

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This Week’s Sponsors

Sponsor- The United States Personal Chef Association
Over the past 30 years, the world of the personal chef has grown in importance to fulfill dining needs. While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it allowed personal chefs to close that dining gap.  Central to all of that is the United States Personal Chef Association.

USPCA provides a strategic backbone for those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification, and more. It’s a reassurance to consumers that the chef coming into their home is prepared to offer them an experience with their meal.

Call Angela today at 800-995-2138 ext 705 or email her at aprather@uspca.com for membership and partner info.

Sponsor-meez
Still keeping your recipes in docs? Doing your costing in spreadsheets? You should try meez—the recipe tool designed for chefs by chefs. Founded by professional chef Josh Sharkey, meez transforms your recipe content into a powerful digital format that lets you organize, scale, train, and cost like never before. See why meez is loved by over 12,000 culinary professionals. Sign up for a free account today at getmeez.com/cwr. 

How to Grow Your Personal Chef Business with Airbnb

On This Week’s Podcast

This week’s Chefs Without Restaurants podcast is a solo episode (find it here). I teach you how to grow your personal chef business with Airbnb, VRBO and other vacation properties. This has been where the majority of my business has been coming from for the past five years. 

I’ve talked about it as part of other podcast episodes but thought it warranted a standalone episode. If you want to make more money cooking as a personal chef or caterer, tune in to find out my top tips for acquiring more customers staying at rental properties. 

For more advice on growing your personal chef business, here’s an episode with chef Steven Lash where we talk about the personal chef business. Do you have tips you’d like to share on how to grow your personal chef business? Let me know. Connect with me on one of the platforms below. 

Relevant Links and Where to Learn About Chefs Without Restaurants

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

If you enjoy the show, and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee

Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter

Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Private Facebook group

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Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

This Week’s Sponsor

Sponsor- The United States Personal Chef Association

Over the past 30 years, the world of the personal chef has grown in importance to fulfill those dining needs. While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it allowed personal chefs to close that dining gap.  Central to all of that is the United States Personal Chef Association.

Representing nearly 1,000 chefs around the US and Canada.  USPCA provides a strategic backbone for those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification, and more. It’s a reassurance to consumers that the chef coming into their home is prepared to offer them an experience with their meal. USPCA provides training to become a Personal Chef through our Preparatory Membership.  Looking to showcase your products or services to our chefs and their clients, partnership opportunities are available.

Call Angela today at 800-995-2138 ext 705 or email her at aprather@uspca.com for membership and partner info.

Getting Fired, Dealing with Anxiety, and Silver Linings

On This Week’s Podcast

This week is a solo episode (find it here). I discuss the time I was fired from a job and the subsequent anxiety that I experienced due to that. It took a long time before I came to terms with the whole experience. But there was also a silver lining… It ultimately led to me starting my own personal chef business, and this community. If you’ve been fired, or if you’re a hiring manager, I’d love for you to listen to this episode. If you have feedback, you can get in touch by contacting me on one of the platforms listed below.

This Week’s Sponsors

Sponsor- The United States Personal Chef Association
While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it provided an avenue for personal chefs to close that dining gap.  Central to all of that is the United States Personal Chef Association. Representing nearly 1,000 chefs around the US and Canada, USPCA provides a strategic backbone for those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification, and more. 

One of the upcoming events for USPCA is their annual conference scheduled for July 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota, FL. Featuring speakers and classes, the conference allows chefs to hone their skills and network with like-minded business people, and is open to all chefs in the industry.

For those who supply the industry, it’s a chance to reach decision-makers and the buyers of products. Chefs Without Restaurants listeners can use promo code CWR50 to save $50 on registration. Please contact Angela at aprather@uspca.com for information on becoming a member, attending the conferences, or exhibiting. 

Sponsor- Vosteed Knives

Are you looking for top quality kitchen knives for dad this Father’s Day? Well, look no further than Vosteed. With over two decades of experience, Vosteed knives are durable, well-balanced and comfortable to use. You’ll find that these knives have a razor sharp edge, robust and strong full-tang construction, and perfectly engineered ergonomics. These high carbon steel blades will definitely get the job done in the kitchen.  

Right now, you can use discount code VOSTEED15 to get 15% off your order. Go to the Vosteed store on Amazon to order yours now. Check out the Vosteed websiteInstagram page and Facebook group.

Relevant Links and Where to Learn About Chefs Without Restaurants

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

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CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

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If you enjoy the show and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee

Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Chefs Without Restaurants Facebook page

Chefs Without Restaurants private Facebook group

Chefs Without Restaurants Instagram

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

Everything Bagel & Pilsner Focaccia

About the recipe

This is by far one of the easiest breads to make. I started making focaccia at the beginning of COVID. Thankfully I have a lot of chef friends who kept my pantry stocked with flour and yeast. While I’ve made a similar one before, this was the first time I’d made a whole-wheat focaccia. I chose the Silver Bread Flour from Deep Roots Milling in Lowesville, VA. It’s their organic redeemer hard red winter wheat. It baked up really nicely, with a slighly tighter crumb than I usually get when using a white bread flour.

This recipe is by chef Chris Spear of Perfect Little Bites personal chef service.

Recipe

550g bread flour (whole wheat, white or a blend)⁣
5.5 g (1 ½ tsp) kosher salt⁣
6 g (2 tsp) instant yeast
5 g (1 tsp) granulated sugar⁣
410 g (420ml) lukewarm liquid (1 bottle pilsner beer + 52 g filtered water- see notes)⁣
4 T olive oil, divided⁣
1 ½ T Everything Spice (such as the one from Spiceology)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika⁣
fleu de sel salt⁣
olive oil pan spray⁣

Method

Heat the water and beer to 110 degrees F. Place the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the warm liquid. Knead for 5 minutes on medium. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour on the counter, then move to the refrigerator and let it sit overnight.⁣

Remove the dough from the fridge. Spray a 1/4 baking sheet with pan spray, then rub 2 T olive oil on the pan, making sure to get the sides coated too. Add the dough to the pan, and stretch it gently with your fingers. Allow it to come to room temp, rest and rise for an hour. Then stretch it again and let it rest for another hour.⁣

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour 1 T olive oil on top of the dough and spread it all over the top. Sprinkle smoked paprika on top. Top the dough evenly with the everything spice. Using your fingers, press about 20 indentations evenly into the dough. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with fleur de sel or Maldon salt.⁣

Bake until golden brown, around 30 minutes. Let cool just slightly before transferring the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.⁣


Notes- I used 1 standard bottle of beer. It should give you 358 grams, which is why I added the very specific 52 grams of water, to bring it up to a total of 410. For this bread, I used a pilsner, but feel free to use a pale ale, wheat beer or even use all water if you prefer.

Chef Virginia Willis on Writing Cookbooks and Her Wellness Journey

About Virginia Willis

This week on the podcast I have James Beard Foundation Award-winner, chef Virginia Willis. She was the TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree and executive producer for Epicurious TV on the Discovery Channel. She’s made cookies with Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Bill Clinton with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Virginia is the author of a number of books including Lighten Up, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits.

On This Week’s Podcast

On the show, we discuss how she got into writing cookbooks, how her cooking style has changed, and her wellness journey which has led to her losing 70 pounds. We talk about food media, and credible sources for recipes and cooking tips. Virginia’s also passionate about sustainable seafood, and we discuss that as well.

This Week’s Sponsor

Looking to make better pizza? How about bagels, bread, or English muffins? Then you need a Baking Steel. Don’t just take my word for it. Kenji López-Altof Serious Eats/The Food Lab said “this is the answer I’ve been waiting for to produce consistently awesome pizza over and over”.

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

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Virginia Willis

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Virginia’s Instagram
Virginia’s’s Website
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Virginia’s Twitter
Virginia’s Eating Well Recipes

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CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

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If you enjoy the show, and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee


 Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Chefs Without Restaurants Facebook page

Chefs Without Restaurants private Facebook group

Chefs Without Restaurants Instagram

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

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