Top Chef All-Star talks about her time in Paris.

Feb 24, 2011 - The Dish

Top Chef All-Stars' Carla Hall
Carla Hall's road to Top Chef All-Star status is more fabulous than you could have imagined. While she's hinted at her modeling past, she's now opening up about her previous career path.

"A lot of times, girls grow up wanting to model. I didn't," she tells iVillage. "I fell into it at Howard University, and then I hated my accounting job, so I went to Paris -- as you do -- and just had a telephone number and beat the pavement."

Carla managed to keep a roof over her head, but admits that may not be the best indication of her ability. "It was a wonderful experience being on my own and being in a foreign country and thinking I was taking care of myself, but the fact is I had a bank account where I was not having to rely on the modeling," she tells iVillage.

And it also inspired her dive into the culinary arts. "Contrary to popular belief, models can probably eat you under the table," she explains. "We had these great big brunches at this woman's house named Elaine, and everybody would talk about 'oh, my mother does this' and 'oh, my mother does that.' And my mother made Aunt Jemima box pancakes, so I wasn't really contributing. But I was like 'Oh my gosh' at all the socialization that goes on in the kitchen, and I started buying cookbooks, and that was the whole thing of how this all got started."

Carla also shares her thoughts on Top Chef Just Desserts and reveals which judge she'd most want to share dinner with over at iVillage.

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