Exclusive: Chef Carla Hall Is 'So Grateful For My Career,' Says She 'Didn't Think I Was Going To Be Here'
Though Carla Hall seemingly does it all — chef, host, soon-to-be children's book author — she had no idea that she would be such a prominent figure in the food industry.
"I am so grateful for my career. I didn’t think I was going to be here. I started out as an accountant. Then, I was modeling, I wanted to be an actor. Before that, I thought I wanted to be a cartoonist, which coming full circle, having a children’s book is so exciting," the 57-year-old exclusively tells Morning Honey while promoting her new partnership with The UPS Store for its “Small Biz Challenge."
"No dream is wasted, and when I was on The Chew, it was a sense of performance," she explains. "When I teach cooking classes, it’s a sense of performance, so it’s all of this — nothing is wasted. I am just open to whatever path shows up."
But what Hall loves most about her job is that people simply blow her mind every day.
"I get to be around creative people, and I am judging creative bakers," she says. "I get to see things coming out of somebody’s head before somebody else – before it will become a thing and to taste it — and even to share that thing, to see somebody’s culture in their food. I think that is the most exciting thing, when we have people from all different walks of life – like on Best Baker, we are looking at all of these regional dishes and sweets. I am like, 'Wow, this is exciting.' Then to see all of the bakers have their personal regional takes on this regional thing, it’s exciting. I love the creative aspect of that."
While the cooking guru is always upbeat and positive, she notes that when looking for your passion or dream job, "think about what you want to do next, talk to people who are in that industry, and if you feel like you need to learn something else, it's a really great time to be mentored by people without physically being in their space."
"I think that while you’re sitting there in the morning, think about what you want to do. If you’re frustrated about your job, think about why you’re frustrated and take ownership of that. And if you take ownership of why you’re unhappy, you can also take ownership of your successes as you move down," she explains. "I think we don’t take responsibility enough for our mistakes. But it goes both ways – you could take responsibility for your happiness, too, and just check in with yourself – what makes you excited? What makes you want to do this thing again? I absolutely love my job, and it’s a blessing, but sometimes I have to eat 30 desserts in a day – what do you think that is doing to my waistline? What do you think that is doing to my teeth? So, every job is going to have a high and a low."
Despite not making it big in showbiz, the TV personality would love to pursue "more scripted" opportunities in the future, in addition to some other goals she hopes to cross off her list.
"I have never let go of wanting to be an actor, so I would like to do more of that. I see so many actors get into the food space, like a Drew Barrymore or Stanley Tucci – all of these people. I am like, 'Why can’t I go the other way?' So, that is something that I want to do. I do want to continue the series of children’s books. I would love to have an animated show, so those are the things outside of what you see me doing that I would like to do."
In the meantime, Hall — who will be hosting and announcing the winner of The UPS Store "Small Biz Challenge" this July — has been enjoying mingling with other small business owners — especially following the pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry.
"What I loved about this year’s event is that they were celebrating small business owners who have adapted and persisted through the challenges brought on by the pandemic and we all were shifting, and I think the power of that was to talk about it because nobody had it easy," she says. "So, just having conversations with [the finalists] — they were sharing tips and advice, how they have evolved and continuing to move their business forward, it was just really inspiring. Even though there wasn’t a pandemic years ago, it feels like sometimes when you have these struggles, in hindsight, they were opportunities. I think that what the audience can get from it is – I do have these challenges, how can I look at them as opportunities? How can I look at them in a different way? — and there is power in that."
To learn more about the initiative, click here: https://www.theupsstore.com/about/pressroom/the-ups-store-celebrates-entrepreneurs-with-the-3rd-annual-virtual-small-biz-challenge.