Saturday, October 30 2021

Carla Hall has come a long way since her days shouting “hootie hoo” on Excellent chef. The Season 5 and Season 8 fan favorite and leader has spent the past six years as a co-host on ABC’s chew it, doing everything from kicking heels alongside the Rockettes to performing flips during a trapeze lesson. She’s also written two cookbooks, runs her own restaurant business, and hosted the James Beard Awards in 2016. And in her spare time last year, she managed to open a restaurant, Carla Hall’s southern cuisine, in Brooklyn, New York.

“I’m from Nashville, Tennessee, so we make hot Nashville chicken. Chicken and sides is all we serve,” Carla explained to Celebration. “It’s all about the accompaniment. Good cornbread and cookies.”

In addition to cornbread and cookies, the menu features traditional Southern favorites like collard greens, candied yams, and macaroni and cheese. The restaurant lets you choose your own pieces of chicken, then customize them with one of six levels of increasingly spicier “hoot and heat”.

“So the first level of heat is just ‘south’,” Carla explained. “There’s no spice at all, just southern fried chicken. And then there’s the sweet heat. [the second heat level], which contains a little cayenne pepper, but especially honey powder. It’s just a little kiss of heat, so if you don’t like spices you can still have that hot chicken experience. “

Level three features cayenne pepper as the primary heat source, while level four features habanero pepper. There is also pineapple powder and other spices to balance the heat.

“Level five, we’re celebrating the scotch bonnet, a little bit of mango powder,” Carla continued. “And then level six, which we call ‘Boomshakalaka,’ is Carolina’s Reaper, Ghost Peppers, and Banana Powder. So it’s for people who really like it hot. But it’s also very tasty. , and it’s that slow burning. “

So what level of heat does the famous fiery Carla prefer in her own restaurant? Turns out she’s more subdued than you might think. “I can do number four, number four is good,” she said. “But I think where I can taste the chicken and be comfortable? Number three.”

Level number three is named “Hoot” on the menu, and number four is named “Hootie Hot”.

“So all the names are a derivative of my ‘hootie hoo’, which I have Excellent chef thank, ”Carla said.

Excellent chef certainly gave Carla her big chance, but we can probably all agree that the world is a little spicier with Carla Hall in it.

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