Why Carla Hall Says She Wouldn't Compete On Top Chef Today

Without a doubt, "Top Chef" was Carla Hall's big break in the televised culinary world. She first appeared on the show's fifth season back in 2008, and although she didn't win, Hall won over plenty of fans with her talent and personality.

During her time competing on the show, Hall had to prepare a dish for one of her culinary idols, Jacques Pepin. He praised her dish, a moment Hall compared to "winning an Oscar" in an exclusive interview with Mashed. In fact, it may have been her favorite moment on "Top Chef."

Hall returned to "Top Chef" again in Season 8 for its "All-Stars" competition. This time, Richard Blais beat her out for the first place position, but Hall did scoop up the Fan Favorite award and a cash prize of $10 thousand (via Eater). Today, Hall appears as a cohost and/or judge on various cooking shows, including a long stint on "The Chew," having firmly decided her days of competing on the likes of "Top Chef" are long past. 

Top Chef challenges have evolved over the years

If you watch "Top Chef," you know the showrunners throw some pretty difficult challenges at their contestants. One of the show's alumni, Dale Talde, called out the 24-hour challenges as being particularly awful (via CinemaBlend).

In fact, these challenges are precisely the reason Carla Hall won't ever return to "Top Chef." In an interview with The Daily Dish, Hall said, "There's no way I would make it on 'Top Chef' now. Breaking down half a cow? In my season, it was eel. I didn't have to do it, thankfully." While Hall's competitors on Season 5 were tasked with filleting and peeling a freshwater eel, Season 16 contestants learned how to butcher an entire cow (via 2paragraphs). A little bit of a difference there, don't you think?

Although Hall says she loved making life-long friends on "Top Chef," especially on the "All-Stars" season, she has ruled out a return. "It's too much!" she says, and honestly, we can't blame her.