Carla Hall Bio

Carla Hall, judge on Halloween Baking Championship

Photo by: Emile Wamsteker ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Emile Wamsteker, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Carla Hall, judge on Halloween Baking Championship

A native of Nashville, Carla Hall received a degree in accounting from Howard University, but traveling through Europe awakened her passion for food and inspired a new career path. Carla attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, where she completed her culinary training, going on to work as a sous chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. She also served as executive chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club, and she has taught classes at CulinAerie and her alma mater L’Academie de Cuisine. Her approach to cooking blends together her classic French training and Southern upbringing for a twist on traditional favorites.

In addition to being a judge on Halloween Baking Championship, Carla is a co-host of ABC’s daytime talk show The Chew, and she is best known as a competitor and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. She is the owner of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory "petite bites of love." In 2012 Carla released her debut cookbook, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You, and in 2014 she released Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World. In 2015 she opened her first restaurant, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, a fast-casual eatery featuring iconic Nashville classic dishes and family recipes. Carla lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Matthew Lyons, and her stepson, Noah.

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Richard Blais Bio

Most recognizable as the winner of Bravo's Top Chef All-Stars, Richard Blais has played an influential role in hospitality for the last 15 years. He began his career, as so many young aspiring chefs do, as the "poissonnier" at McDonald's. It was here that he first dabbled in deconstruction in cuisine, serving Filet-O-Fish sandwiches sans top bun. His developing passion for food and the service industry led Richard to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. As an ambitious student, he spent time between semesters studying at the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., under renowned Chef Thomas Keller and alongside then-rising stars Grant Achatz and Eric Ziebold. Upon graduating from the CIA in 1998, Richard ventured to New York for the opportunity to work with Chef Daniel Boulud at his famous flagship, Restaurant Daniel. Richard then followed his professional compass to Roses, Spain, where he completed a brief stage at El Bulli with culinary wizard Ferran Adrià. In 2000 Richard relocated to Atlanta to oversee a local seafood concept. His wildly creative approach to cooking and cuisine led to the establishment of Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed and operated some of Atlanta's most-popular eateries, including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique and HD-1. He recently launched The Spence, a restaurant concept in midtown Atlanta, and opened Juniper & Ivy, in San Diego, where he offers a refined approach to American cuisine and showcases the seasonal and local ingredients of California. In Richard's debut cookbook, Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate, he reveals a simplified approach to adventurous cooking by sharing new flavor combinations and textures to reinvent home cooks' classic dishes. Each of the 125 recipes is straightforward enough to make at home, but for those who want to try using liquid nitrogen or a sous-vide machine, Richard offers fun variations on his recipes that add another level of excitement in the kitchen. Try This at Home was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in 2014 in the Cookbook: General Cooking category. In December 2013 Richard appeared as the host of a brand-new television program entitled Cook Your Ass Off. The show, which aired on the HLN network, is a transformational culinary contest that focuses on the health struggles of everyday people. Talented chef contestants are pitted against each other in a three-round competition to transform daily indulgences into healthy and delicious meals. Richard has also appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Live! with Kelly and Michael, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as well as in numerous publications, including The New York Times, InStyle and Food & Wine magazine.

David Rose Bio

David Rose is a finalist competing on Food Network Star, Season 13.

Jesse Palmer Bio

Jesse Palmer is the host of Spring Baking Championship.

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