Second Life Podcast: Carla Hall on Pivoting From Accountant to Model to Chef
Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.
Carla Hall was always a creative, but before competing on Top Chef, authoring cookbooks, and starring on The Chew, she was auditing at a big accounting firm and pursuing modeling in Europe. When she returned home from Europe—where she'd also taken up cooking—she stumbled into her own lunch delivery service that parlayed itself into catering, culinary school, and her rise to foodie fame. "It was really an adventure," she tells Hillary Kerr on episode 39 of Second Life.
Hall is a firm believer that things have a way of falling into place, and looking back on the course of her career, it's easy to see why. The chef moved to France in her early 20s on a whim after deciding accounting wasn't for her. There, she discovered American cooking through homesick models who gathered over mac and cheese and chicken wings.
Back in the states, Hall's cooking career started out quite unintentionally. "I started this lunch delivery service as a fluke," she explains. That fluke led her to attend culinary school and to become a chef, but going on Top Chef was never her intention. One day Hall's sous chef told her they had a dream she was on the show and later that day she got a call from the production company. Not only did she compete on season five of the series, but she was also invited back for an all-stars season and earned a spot on ABC's cooking talk show, The Chew.
"I love television. I would have never thought I would be doing it," she admits. "I got to do all of these amazing things through the lens of food, and it was incredible." After all her successes, the only piece of advice Hall would give to her younger self is to slow down. "I would slow down trying to get to the next rung in the ladder. I absolutely would slow that down," she says.
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