The Reason Carla Hall Almost Didn't Return To Top Chef

Celebrity chef Carla Hall is, of course, no newbie when it comes to the world of food. According to her official website, she was intrigued by food as a kid but didn't think about going down the professional route for a long time. In fact, she graduated from Howard University's Business School and first held a job as an accountant. She then became a runway model and suddenly found herself exploring different cuisines during her work trips. One thing led to another, and she ended up pursuing food more seriously, gaining experience through culinary training and through work at restaurants in Washington D.C. 

We first came to know Carla Hall, and her "Hootie-Hoo" catchphrase, when she was a major contender in season five of Top Chef in 2008. As explained by Cheatsheet, the chef made her mark — with her positive attitude and her delicious crayfish and andouille gumbo — and was eventually crowned the runner-up. She's now considered to be one of the most successful stars from the show. Hall went on to write three cookbooks, cohosted the talk show The Chew for seven seasons, and recently was a judge on Crazy Delicious (via Eater).

While the chef is now undoubtedly a crucial part of the Top Chef legacy, there was a time when Carla Hall almost didn't make it to our small screens. In 2010, Hall considered not returning for the All-Stars edition. Why, you ask? Well, she had her own reasons.  

Carla Hall was told to avoid her return to Top Chef

Carla Hall recounted her experience in an interview on the Starving for Attention podcast. Hall knew that being a part of Top Chef again could be a priceless opportunity (via Bravo TV). However, there were doubts in her mind. For one, she was told by her PR company that she really shouldn't proceed with season eight — Top Chef: All-Stars. Hall explained, "First of all, my PR agency said, 'You really shouldn't do Top Chef because you don't know what's going to happen — plus you're trying to really break away into your own brand.'"

A confused Carla Hall decided to disregard this piece of advice and be a part of the show anyway. However, she still remained uncertain and questioned what she would do if she was eliminated early on. A bit of imposter syndrome took hold as Hall sized up the competition. She said, "...You feel like, 'I'm the old one, and I'm a caterer, and I'm not in that restaurant world of everyone else."

Luckily, the celebrity chef didn't change her mind. Carla Hall went on to become the Fan Favorite of the season and won a whopping $10,000 (via Eater).