Tag Archives: Carla Hall

Shameless Plug #4

While some are wondering whether “Top Chef” is losing its edge, there is no doubt that some truly talented and motivated chefs have graced the show’s kitchens. Two of them–D.C. locals Carla Hall and Spike Mendelsohn–are putting their talent and cache toward a worthy cause: the battle against childhood obesity. Hall and Mendelsohn, along with 990 other chefs across the country, are joining First Lady Michelle Obama in her efforts to bring healthy food to the nation’s schools through her newest initiative, Chefs Move to Schools. Here’s an excerpt:

Life after “Top Chef” doesn’t always lead to fame or fortune (whatever happened to past winners Hung Huynh and Hosea Rosenberg?), but two former contestants are making a name for themselves on the school lunch front. Chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Carla Hall, finalists on “Top Chef” seasons four and five, are participating in Michelle Obama’s latest initiative to combat childhood obesity, Chefs Move to Schools.

The program pairs chefs with public schools across the nation in an effort to educate and excite students about food and nutrition. Chefs will work together with teachers, administrators and cafeteria workers to promote healthy eating through performing cooking demos, planting school gardens, and eventually revamping school cafeteria menus to include nutritionally balanced, cost-effective dishes. So far, 990 chefs and 448 schools across the country have signed on to participate.

Hundreds of chefs, including Hall, attended June’s inaugural Chefs Move to Schools event at the White House. “The event was nothing short of moving,” she said. “To see that many chef coats and toques in one place was quite special.” Michelle Obama told chefs they are in a unique position to change kids’ eating habits: “You’ll be elevating the role of food in our schools … You know more about food than almost anyone — other than the grandmas — and you’ve got the visibility and the enthusiasm to match that knowledge. That’s really what’s key.”

Read my full article over at Zester Daily. And many thanks to Carla and Spike for the interviews; it was a pleasure to meet you both!

Photo credit: Matthew Lyons/Micheline Mendelsohn

**In other news, tomorrow is The Unpaid Gourmet’s birthday! 🙂 I’ll be celebrating by, of course, eating. Reviews of the meals will follow next week!

**And for those of you looking for a way to beat the heat this weekend, head over to Pizzeria Paradiso for their IPA Festival! Click here for more details.


Top Chef Premiere at Spike’s Good Stuff Eatery

Last night’s Top Chef DC Party at Good Stuff Eatery was a packed event, where local foodies and fans flocked to Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s burger joint watch the much anticipated premiere, sample some of the best shakes in town, and mingle with former Top Chef contestants Carla Hall (hootie hoo!) and Spike. Here are some photos from the fun and food-filled escapade (and sorry for the blurriness; I was trying to be discreet with my photographing!):

One of the highlights of the evening was when Good Stuff brought out free pizza from Spike’s much hyped, soon-to-be-opened restaurant, We, The Pizza, located right next door. I grabbed a slice of the sausage and basil pizza, and fans awaiting We the Pizza’s opening–you will not be disappointed.

And of course, I saved the best for last:

From left to right: Chef Carla, Mary from Girl Meets Food, Chef Spike, and me! Thanks to Carla and Spike for posing, and to food newsie for taking the photo.

The party was a fantastic way to inaugurate what is sure to be a phenomenal season of Top Chef. And an appetizing excuse to order a handspun chocolate milkshake and juicy burger with bacon and roquefort cheese and catch up with foodie friends like Girl Meets Food, French Twist DC, and Food Newsie. All in all, an amazing night to be living in DC!