It's been nine years since Carla Hall first appeared on Top Chef, yet the feeling of competing is still fresh in her mind. As a new crop of contestants sharpen their knives in preparation for Season 15, the co-host of The Chew has some incredibly sound advice for them.
"They were chosen specifically because they can cook," she told The Feast. "I think in a situation where you are in a competition you immediately look to your left, you look to your right, and you think, they know more than I do, and I like what they're doing more than what I normally do."
But the goal, she said, is a little mind over matter, and a healthy dose of levity: "Be yourself, do what you do, and just have fun. It's only a competition."
Yeah, but it's a competition that comes with incredible pressure to perform — so how do you weather that?
"I always tell myself, 'Nobody ever died from this,'" she said. "So just have fun, enjoy the experience, get as much knowledge as you can from the guest judges because you get feedback on the top, you get feedback on the bottom, and now I think they've changed it a little bit where all the contestants learn from the process being at the judges table. Just see it as a learning activity. Just have fun... I know it's stressful!"
Tune in for Top Chef's Season 15 premiere on Thursday, December 7 at 10/9c.
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