After under-cooking her pork in the Bahamas challenge on 'Top Chef All Stars' last night, DC's de facto love ambassador (seriously!), Carla Hall, left the show with her usual dose of happy-go-lucky muppetish spunk. What would make her even bubblier? Some darn investors so she can make more cookies and channel Meryl Streep. Read on to find out more.
Why did you put yourself through this a second time?
I decided to make it part of my business plan, honestly. The first time I didn’t have a plan, and I didn’t realize how popular the show was. This time it wasn’t an immediate yes—it was ‘Ok, Carla, you can make this work for you.’
What are you working on now?
I’ve transitioned from catering to doing a line of sweet and savory petite cookies, and the bigger plan is to have a café with a market and flexible space for chef’s dinners and cooking classes, which I do in my space now. I need a lot of equipment to make my cookies. [Had I won the $200,000] I would be putting it into the production of the cookies and the café. My favorite cookie right now is a pecan shortbread with vanilla salt. Alchemy by Carla Hall will be the over-arching company for various products, and after The Cookie Collection, we’re going to do soups and sauces.
Have you found a space yet for the café?
I wish. I need money. It will be The Alchemy Market & Kitchen. Have you seen that Meryl Streep movie It’s Complicated? When I saw her shop, I’m like that’s it! I want a place where people can come like three to four times a week because you know you’re going to get reliable food. You’ll order it at the counter and we’ll deliver it to your table. You can also get food to take away. In my ideal world it would open within a year, but I have my eyes set on a particular space in DC. It fell through with one developer, so we’ll see if it works with another.
Where will you cook in the meantime?
There's a place in DC that does pop-up dinners, which I would love to do. And I do my cooking classes, it's a demonstration with four food and wine pairings; people are served as I'm making the dish.
D.C. just named you Secretary of Love and Relationships. How did that come about and what are your official duties?
It's about being an ambassador to remind people to have date nights, and to bring back the love.
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