Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and whether you’re hosting for the first time, or you’re a party-throwing veteran, Carla Hall has some valuable secrets you’ll want to hear! HollywoodLife.com even cooked up a delicious meal with the chef and ‘The Chew’ Host! Click inside to hear her tips and watch us whip up a turkey day dish!
Carla Hall, 52, is one of the greatest chef’s out there, and she’s got a pretty impressive resume to boot. She has her own restaurant, Carla’s Southern Kitchen, an Emmy-Award winning TV show, The Chew, and you may recognize her from a little show called, Top Chef… not so little, we know! And, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, some of us at HollywoodLife.com are seasoned holiday hosts, while others are first-timers; So, we looked to only the BEST to get some valuable tips, tricks, and secrets about all things Thanksgiving! And, there’s no one better to call on than Carla Hall!
We cooked up her famous chicken pot pie over corn waffles and it was probably the greatest meal we’ve ever had! While we cooked with the chef, she let us get our hands dirty and we learned a thing or two about hosting an amazing Thanksgiving celebration for our family and friends!
First things first, whether you’re a rookie or veteran in the kitchen or party planning sphere, it’s always crucial to have a plan, Carla said. “You have to be at one with some of the stress,” she added. And by this, she means the stress of holiday chaos in general — The food, the preparation, the guests, and all of the trials and tribulations that come along with it. If there’s one tip to take away, she told us, “it’s all about building food memories.” That’s one amazing thing about Carla, she cooks from the heart!
Thanksgiving could get expensive. However, you don’t have to break your bank when trying to cater to your loved ones. “To get quality and affordability,” when shopping for your turkey day needs, remember that the two things “can co-exisit.” Carla revealed that’s exactly why she’s partnered with Aldi. At the grocery go-to store you can get great, quality food for half the price than other stores! She and Aldi have teamed up to “Make Holidays Happen,” where she’s been sharing weekly recipes for the upcoming holidays, and you can find them right here. SO tasty!
The next thing you can do, is to minimize the chaos of little ones running around, who tend to ask, “Is the food ready yet?” You can do this by preparing small appetizers that require little to-no-effort! This is something we had NO idea about. These foods should be things you “don’t have to cook,” according to Carla. The expert said things as simple as cheese and cracker plates, olives, and other easy finger foods can keep your guests pleased and their tummies at ease, in case your meal isn’t following the timeline you planned. Also, by providing yummy apps, it gives you extra time, a second to breathe, and more importantly, “time to spend with your family,” because memory making is vital.
Another tip to being a fabulous host is to be “open-minded and flexible.” Carla said this because you never know what surprises are going to come up. Whether it’s an unexpected item you see when shopping that you add last minute, or extra guests at the table you originally didn’t plan for.
We seriously had a blast hanging out in the kitchen with Carla, and we’d love to stay and chat, but it’s time for us to prepare her pineapple glazed ham! Hopefully your Thanksgiving turns out as great as we hope it will with Carla’s tips and tricks. Be sure to check out the rest of our video for more of The Chew hosts’ holiday secrets! Happy Thanksgiving!
HollywoodLifers, are you hosting a Thanksgiving celebration? Tell us below!