How Carla Hall's Food Career Actually Started

Carla Hall has a varied professional background, and the areas she dabbled in before she started her food career are completely unrelated to what she does today.

Believe it or not, Hall's first tertiary education was in accounting. According to The Lion King Wiki, she then worked at Price Waterhouse for two years, where she attained her title as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) before she started her career as a ramp model in 1988.

Hall's modeling career was not a manifestation of a lifelong dream. Instead, it seems like it was an escape for her — from the monotonous bean counting of bookkeeping. "I fell into it at Howard University, and then I hated my account job, and I went to Paris," she said when chatting to iVillage (via Youtube). According to Starcasm, this line work took her to Milan, London, and Paris. Contrary to the public perception of the relationship between modeling and eating, per The New York Times, Hall had a lot of exposure to food while modeling, which gave rise to her interest in the culinary sphere and resulted in her becoming a celeb chef.

Carla Hall, a certified culinary celeb and author

By the time Carla Hall returned from Europe, her acquired passion for food had grown to the point where she was ready to start her own catering business. Willing to invest in her passion, she signed up for formal culinary tuition at L'Académie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland, per Biography, and achieved her cooking qualification in the '90s. It was at this point that her now multifaceted vocation exploded. According to Chicago Gourmet, her first jobs post formal training were sous chef at the Henley Park Hotel and executive chef at the State Plaza Hotel and the Washington Club. Her first dream to launch her catering company took off in 2001 when she opened Alchemy Caterers. 

It wasn't long before her cooking career transcended to TV, with her first appearance in 2011 on "The Chew." If not broadly known, she is at least familiar. You may remember her from her two appearances on "Top Chef," her cookbook: "Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration," or maybe you were lucky enough to have interacted with her through Alchemy Caterers, per Carla Hall.