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Style & Living

Carla Hall Reveals the One Thing People Get Wrong About Cooking on TV

An alum of Bravo's Top Chef and The Chew, Carla Hall shares a dispatch from behind the scenes.

By Alesandra Dubin
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As an alum of both Bravo's Top Chef  and The Chew, Chef Carla Hall knows her way around the behind-the-scenes challenges of the unique — and painstaking — task of cooking on TV. So when The Feast got Chef Carla Hall on the phone to talk about her new book, Carla Hall Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, we asked her: What's one thing people just don’t get about cooking on TV — or get wrong about it all together?

"Well, first of all, you have five minutes," she told us. "The segment is five to six minutes, so in that segment you have to teach the recipe, you have to talk, share a little bit about yourself. It is a three-ring circus and people do not realize how hard it is."

And that's very much by design, she explained.

"As a host — I’m doing all these things. [Viewers in the audience] don’t realize how hard it is. Somebody who makes it seem easy is doing a really great job. It took me a really long time to even step into where I felt like I got it — and even still sometimes I’m like, 'Oh my god,"" she said, referring to the difficulty involved in a seamless execution.

And she has tremendous respect for her colleagues who do it well, such as her fellow co-hosts on The Chew. "I watch Michael Symon do a segment, I’m like, 'Wow.' At the same time, I’m like, 'Why is it that he makes it look so effortless?' Granted, he’s been doing it for 20 years — but it’s amazing to watch."

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