The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Chef Carla Hall speaks about life experiences in broadcast

Passion, learning from failure and integrity pave the path to success, said celebrity chef Carla Hall Oct. 23 in a broadcast event sponsored by Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS).

More than 60 people attended the live broadcast of “Leading with Love” in the auditorium.

Hall was speaking in the Stamm Lecture Hall of the James Pedas Communication Center in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Her speech was broadcast to 646 NSLS chapter colleges nationwide.

Life is about experiences, whether they are positive or negative, and nobody has life all figured out, said Hall. “Say yes, adventure follows, then growth,” she said.

Even something as small as going to a party can turn into a life-changing event.

The Howard University graduate described her culinary debut on Bravo’s hit show “Top Chef” and co-hosting 1,500 episodes of ABC’s daily talk show “The Chew.”

“When you do something so many times, you eventually get good at it,” Hall said, recalling her growth on “The Chew.”

On May 2016, Hall opened Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York, inside Barclays Center. The restaurant closed Aug. 2017.

“It took us two and a half years until we opened our doors, and then we were only open for a year,” she said.

Hall’s restaurant might have been a failure, but she views it as a life lesson.

“If I were to go back, I wouldn’t change a single thing,” she said.

Hall said the experience taught her about branding, staffing, commitments and location, location, location.

When one door closes, another opens. Thanks to Hall’s restaurant experience, she authored
her latest cookbook, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration.” Hall said she believed the cookbook is her way of embracing her heritage and Southern roots.

Hall engaged with the audience by asking them to raise their hands if they have experienced failure, prompting laughs from the audience. “I don’t think all of your passions are meant to pan out but they’re meant to fuel you,” she said.

If everything in life ran smoothly, we wouldn’t push ourselves to succeed and grow, said Hall.

“You won’t understand what you’re good at unless you fail at something,” she said.

About the Author

Armando Villarreal III
Armando Villarreal III
Armando Villarreal III is a senior communication major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Armando works for a local wholesale produce and restaurant equipment company. He received his associate degrees in culinary arts from St. Philip’s College in 2015 and in history from San Antonio College in 2018. He loves to travel, try new foods and dining out at unique restaurants. Armando plans to work in media relations.

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