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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Carla Hall Wants Her New Cookbook to Get People to "Stop Thinking About" Soul Food the Same Way

The Top Chef alum aims to "educate" readers with her new cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration.

By Tamara Palmer
Carla Hall's Top Tips for Holiday Hosting

Carla Hall has blossomed as a cookbook author and media personality since her first turn on Bravo's Top Chef in 2008, and she's getting ready to drop her third book in the fall. Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, which comes out on October 23 via Harper Wave, finds The Chew co-host putting in the groundwork to change common misperceptions about soul food.

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

“I think soul food is unfairly judged because people are looking at it through a very narrow lens," she told People of her mission behind her cookbook, which she describes as "approachable."

"The reason I wanted to write this book was to educate people that there is a difference between everyday soul food and celebration foods, and to get people to really stop thinking about just the celebration soul foods like mac and cheese, and greens, and fried chicken.”

That doesn't mean you won't get amazing recipes for those splurge items, but she estimates that about 65 percent of the book's recipes are plant-based and largely derived from West Africa, such as okra stew, black-eyed pea hummus and roasted cauliflower with raisins and lemon-pepper millet. Other recipes in the book include cracked shrimp with "Comeback Sauce," Ghanian peanut beef stew with onions and celery and sweet potato pudding with clementines.

Carla also shared some killer holiday decorating ideas and easy turkey tips with The Feast, should you want to get a jump on figuring out how to serve all those new celebration foods you'll be learning with this book in the fall.

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