Monday, March 26, 2012

Carla Hall: Top Chef and Top Fan of Hester van Eeghen

Chef Carla Hall, from Top Chef and The Chew,  with her Woody bag by Hester van Eeghen. Photo: Matthew Lyons

"I love that the purses have such personality
It's like a whole collection of little personalities." 

- Carla Hall on Hester van Eeghen's handbag collection.

Chef Carla Hall came into the public eye as a fan favorite on the Bravo TV show "Top Chef." Now she is one of the chef hosts, along with Mario Batali, on ABC's "The Chew."  Carla also has her own company, Alchemy, and makes the most delicious tiny treats that you must try!

I literally ran into Carla Hall in Penn Station. I had recently read an article where she said she was obsessed with handbags (obviously, that caught my eye). So, I introduced myself and she gave me a big hug, because no one is a stranger to Carla Hall.  She is indeed a delightful person who 
makes this planet a better place.

Carla told me how she just got back from a trip to Amsterdam and a visit to the Handbag Museum there and that she had seen Hester van Eeghen's bags there. What a wonderful coincidence! She told me how she was mesmerized by Hester's architectural style and her amazing use of color.

Carla Hall and her Woody bag visiting a Toyko temple. Photo: Matthew Lyons 

This chance encounter led to lunch and pictures of Carla with her purple Woody bag and her graciously answering a few "interview" questions. Here is what I asked her:

Q. What is your personal style?
A. My personal style...I am a little quirky, and a little eclectic but on the conservative side."

Q. I read that you love handbags. Where did this passion begin?
A. Both of my grandmothers loved bags. I remember being entranced by all of them. I still have some of their bags, including a wonderful iguana bag.

In fact, I like purses so much that when I am watching a movie--even if its an intense scene--I notice the handbags, the shoes. It drives my husband Matthew crazy!

By the way, I love your website, it is like being in a store. The saturated color and the color bar on the site is so much fun. And I love that you can see how the purse is worn on the site.

Q. If you were not a chef, what would you be doing?
A. I love theatre, I wanted to be an actress, I went to Howard and didn't realize they had a fine arts program, so I went into accounting. Well, my first accounting job I realized it wasn't for me so I went to Paris to be a model. I feel like I am always on stage though. I would still love to get into theatre.

Carla Hall's mini savory and sweet bite-size treats: Alchemy

Q. How do you express your creativity?
A. Cooking of course, and I like to draw, and I love crafts. I just like doing things with my hands.

Q. What is your favorite color?
A. Easy. It is green - a bright, chartreuse green. Of course I love purple too, and orange, and turquoise...

Thank you Carla, for the interview, for being a Hester van Eeghen enthusiast, and for being so wonderful!

Enjoy this fun little video, shot by Carla's husband matthew Lyons, in a Tokyo train station.

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