Chef Carla Hall is opening her very first restaurant, a comfort-style Southern eatery in New York City.
Hall, a veteran of Bravo’s "Top Chef" and most recently a co-host on ABC’s popular lifestyle series “The Chew,” plans to open the Nashville-inspired spot, Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen, in spring 2015. Featuring slow-cooked, fast-served food, Hall is bringing Nashville hot chicken to the Big Apple before expanding to other locations.
“For years, fans asked me when I’d finally open a restaurant,” Hall says. “And the time finally feels right. I grew up in Nashville and learned to appreciate good food from my grandmother, Freddie Mae. I knew I had to honor her and my Southern roots by bringing Nashville’s hot chicken to New York.”
So what exactly is Nashville hot chicken? It’s a unique twist on southern fried chicken, traditionally fried in an iron skillet and then tossed in a spicy cayenne paste. Slow brined and brushed with Carla’s secret hot oil recipe, the chicken is crisped to perfection.
Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and truly shine the spotlight on Sunday supper. Aside from the mac and cheese and homemade sweet tea, another highlight of the New York City location will be Freddie Mae’s Provisions, an adjacent general store featuring authentic Nashville vendors.
Now, Carla’s hoping a Kickstarter campaign will help make the restaurant a reality. “This is my love letter to Nashville, but also to my fans. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. For anyone who’s ever asked where they could try my cooking—this is for you,” she says. “I just need a little help to get started.”
The Kickstarter campaign will run September 24–October 29 with the hopes of raising $250,000 for the restaurant’s kitchen. Fans pitching in for Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen can expect everything from their name on the Founders Wall that will live in every restaurant or an invite to a private event at the restaurant to a home-cooked Sunday supper or the chance to spend an entire day with Carla.
In addition to help from fans, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen will also team up with Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sport Management. In this unique partnership, culinary and hospitality students at Drexel will work alongside Hall and her team to learn every aspect of opening a new restaurant, including developing and testing menu items, analyzing food costs, and helping to hire the restaurant team.