Carla Hall Made A Mistake In Her First Cookbook

Professional chefs — they're just like us. They flambé til the crack of dawn and can cook seven different dishes at once. (And they all come out perfect.) What, doesn't sound familiar? Well good, because that's just not how most chefs live their life. As Carla Hall reminded fans in an honest interview with Departures, professional chefs are people too. And people make mistakes.

If you're not familiar with Chef Hall, she's an accomplished part of the culinary world who's in the restaurant industry for many years, per Food Network. She first found fame with her appearance on "Top Chef," then went on to co-host "The Chew" before becoming an author. According to her website, soul food is her specialty, and she always strives to cook with love

While Chef Hall has made great strides in life, she's still human, and all humans make mistakes. And that's exactly what happened in one of Carla Hall's cookbooks. While Hall found an unfortunate error in her published work, she's not the only chef who's been there. According to The Guardian, errors make their way to the printers all too often.

The unfortunate mishap in Carla Hall's soul food handbook

In one interview about her life as a chef, Carla Hall reflected on her early years of stardom when she had just dropped her first cookbook. Looking back, she would change a lot about the book, such as making a few recipes a bit simpler to follow. But another big thing she would change is correcting an inaccurate recipe. Hall's famous five-flavor pound cake, which is actually her grandmother's original recipe, was the culprit of a big mistake, she explained to Departures

Chef Hall told Departures that whenever she signs her first book, she turns to the pound cake recipe and writes, "This is supposed to be two sticks of butter." And while a mistake like this could be enough to discourage other chefs, Hall made light of the situation. 

Hall didn't let the setback stop her from trying again, either, as she released a new cookbook titled "Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration" in 2018, per NPR. You heard it from Chef Hall: Whenever you make a mistake, accept that you're human and move forward. 

A few reasons behind common cookbook disasters

One of the most egregious food errors found in print comes from chef Antony Worrall Thompson, per The Guardian. Chef Thompson accidentally recommended a poisonous weed to spice up a salad in an interview with a healthy-living magazine. While the blame fell on Thompson this time, every cause of a misprint varies. 

Per The Guardian, another reason for these mishaps can be due to the publishing company. Sometimes, shrinking budgets can make it difficult to test every recipe. That might have been what happened to Chef Dianne Jacob with her cookbook "The United States of Pizza," per her website. After the book came out, a fan emailed Jacob asking about the missing 3 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese from her mac and cheese pizza recipe. Everything checked out with her original manuscript, but something got lost in translation when it hit the publishers. 

Per Eat Your Books, another example of a publishing mistake came from Penguin Random House with U.K. author Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook. Huge errors surfaced with the reprint of his book "Sweet" for U.S. audiences, in which many of the conversions were wrong. According to The Toronto Star, there were errors affecting a whopping 21 of the 115 recipes, including one that labeled an almond snack cake nut-free. Once the mess was discovered, Penguin Random House reprinted the books.

Other causes for cookbook fails

Mistakes aren't always the fault of writers or publishers. Sometimes, it's all about the reader, according to We Are Chefs. While many of us tend to veer from the path of an original recipe, this can make for some less-than-satisfactory results. Even a small change can alter the entire taste of a recipe. And, let's be honest, sometimes we'll just place the blame on the cookbook if things don't go our way. 

Other times, even chefs blame themselves for creating problems in their culinary guidebooks. According to pastry chef Gale Gand, developing recipes for cooking at home is much different than in a restaurant kitchen (via We Are Chefs). This means that some chefs will cram too many ingredients into their recipes, which can set novice cooks up for disaster. 

One recipe editor echoed this sentiment and said it was common for cookbook writers to forget to fully flesh out each recipe, with some forgetting to add in reserved ingredients later or using too many vague details (via Epicurious). Clearly, a lot can go wrong in the cookbook creation process.