From Bravo's Top Chef to ABC's The Chew, America's favorite Nashville chef, Carla Hall, is on a journey to open her first restaurant. "People have been asking me about a restaurant for years, and my answer was always no," Hall said. "Then I saw a potential restaurant space. It really flipped some inner switch in me, and I realized that I did want it."
Following a traditional concept of Southern cuisine, Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen will resemble a "meat and three" restaurant, which gives visitors the opportunity to select a meat and up to three sides. Whether people enjoy spicy or mild, there are different variations of chicken wings to choose from, including honey spiked with chiles, and habanero flavors. "The fried chicken is a typical crispy Southern fried chicken that's not spicy," she said. "We toss the chicken in one of four levels of heat — from sweet hot to fiery hot, with 'medium' and 'hot' in between."
Complementing the chicken will be Hall's famous comfort food. "Besides the chicken, I love the macaroni and cheese, the collard greens, and the Southern chopped salad," she noted. Desserts echo Southern hospitality as well, with homemade banana pudding and sweet potato cobbler bars available. Diners who are gluten-intolerant can still enjoy much of the cuisine, including the cornbread. For people who are not keen on spicy food, there will be a roasted style of the chicken available, and all of the sides are vegetarian.
Well before the opening, people were able to sample what will be offered at the new venue when the chef served menu items from a food truck in various locations earlier this month. "The reaction was so incredibly positive," she said. "With all of the people we served, it was a clear winner in popularity that second to the chicken, the mac and cheese was the favorite."
Hall also gave fans an opportunity to get interactive by launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund a portion of the opening. "I turned to Kickstarter for a small percentage of what's needed for my project because it was a way to get my fans involved in what they have been asking me about for years," she said. "They basically got to buy a brick in my first restaurant, and the satisfaction of knowing that they had something to do with it."