More Sweet Scuttlebutt – “Top Chef” contestant Carla Hall Looking at Spaces in Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth April 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm 31 Comments

Top chef finalist creating heart healthy meal, originally uploaded by Sister to Sister.

Ed. Note: If Missy Frederick can confirm this there is a free t-shirt in it for her.

A PoP reader attended a fundraiser this week for a prominent Democrat in Congress. The event was catered by Alchemy Catering…a catering service operated by Carla Hall who was a contestant on “Top Chef”. She’s lived in the DC area for a long time.

The reader was able to chat with her for about 15 minutes and mentioned that he lives in Columbia Heights. Ms. Hall mentioned that she visited the neighborhood a couple days ago looking at an empty space in the Highland Park building. Apparently, Ms. Hall is looking for a new space where she can have a cooking school of sorts, along with a dining room somehow associated with cooking classes. The format seemed uncertain, but the general description made the reader think of the new cooking class/wine tasting space that Zola opened at the corner of 9th and E Streets, NW.

  • GeorgiaAve

    oh yeahhhh!!

  • T.n


  • I would die. Seriously.

    Please come to Columbia Heights, Carla. I will eat Squab for you.

  • hcfoo22

    Nice! North Country (Carla lives in Takoma, DC) represents. Go Carla!

  • New2CH

    This would be absolutely sweet. Let’s keep our fingers crossed …

  • Anonymous

    PoP, do you happen to have her email? I could suggest a potential space for her.

  • 14th n’ otis

    Carla is by far my favorite top chef contender of all time. I would be psyched if she opened her business in my ‘hood. I’ve taken a few classes at places like Sur la Table, so she could definitely count on me as a customer. Carla, come to Columbia Heights!

  • Sounds like Culinaire, but with Carla all the time (she is a guest chef at Culinaire)! I would love, love, love it!

  • Yes! This would be fabulous if it pans out.

  • I love this idea! I really hope some decides to come.

  • Missy

    Bahaha, I’ll do my best, PoP

  • TonyS

    “Apparently, Ms. Hall is looking for a new space where she can have a cooking school of sorts, along with a dining room somehow associated with cooking classes”

    — where is she going to find an empty space in columbia heights though? has anyone seen any empty storefronts?

  • Markus

    Every dish will have peas!

  • mlc

    I’m a huge fan – hope she comes to CH!

  • PetworthRes

    Carla, I’d be so happy to see you open a place in CH. Cook with love, we will all eat with love!!

  • please, Carla, come to Anacostia instead. follow your heart to the best hood in towwwwn

  • anon

    How about the former furniture store in the building that houses Subway? Huge space, corner exposure, I bet rent is cheaper than DCUSA, in a cool historic building, and right in the middle of all the new condo / apartment developments in the area. If anyone emails her, please suggest that space … and this also seems like a perfect local business to qualify for serious rent concessions from DCUSA, that is, if that concept was not pure fiction, which I am beginning to believe.

  • Geezer

    Count me as a Carla fan and would be estatic to see her open a place if CH!

  • Shaw also has some awesome places for this amazing top chef alum! Carla — We’d LOVE to have you in our neighborhood! I’d be happy to pull together info on spaces for such a great business!

  • Rachel

    Sounds like a great idea, but am I the only person who has no idea who this woman is? Why does everyone love her so much? I mean, that’s awesome, but I don’t watch cooking shows.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Shaw and Anacostia, you guys crack me up. In addition to those neighborhoods and of course Columbia Heights – Petworth, Brightwood, Park View, Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Bloomingdale, Eckington… are also great neighborhoods that would love to have Carla!

  • Hootie Hoo!

  • Anonymous

    I bet the Rachel above who clams not to know Carla is actually Rachel Ray just being catty. 🙂

  • peaceyall

    GA ave near the GA metro needs some love. I’d hate it if that area turned into CH metro – all commercialized and no character.

  • FYI. It is true that Carla is looking around DC for space (she’s presently in Wheaton), but hasn’t decided on a location or neighborhood. She’s not actually looking to do a cooking school. Her primary thought is to have space to house her catering kitchen and feature “retail” space where she could have a chef’s table. The chef’s table feature is about as close to a restaurant experience you’ll get from Carla. The new space could/would also be used for occasional cooking classes. Classes, however, is not the principal driver for her search for new space.

    FYI, it’s Alchemy Caterers, not catering.

  • Anonymous

    Oh please let this be true!!

  • WDC

    Given what Matthew just said, it doesn’t sound like such a good fit after all. We want businesses that will increase foot traffic, and give us things to do in our own neighborhood so’s we don’t have to go to Alexandria for them. We do NOT want businesses that give us nothing more than double-parked delivery vans. Caterers belong on the outskirts. Not in the pedestrian centers. I can’t imagine any business would pay retail real estate prices for an industrial operation.

  • labgirl

    Oh, my. Carla I’m feeling the love!

  • @ WDC. I understand your point, but I think you’re lumping all caterers into one bowl. A catering company the size of Design Cuisine or Ridgewells should probably operate in the suburbs because of the need for ample space for parking and deliveries. Carla, on the other hand, is far from, as you put it, an industrial operation. She runs a small, boutique catering company with one van. I don’t think Carla would be looking to locate in the city…in a neighborhood…unless she saw herself as being an active part of it. As I said above, she has ideas of doing more with the space than just catering. One of the things she’d like to do is expand her line of petite sweet and savory cookies. That could become part of the retail part of her space. We’ll see.

    No slight to Alexandria, but are people really flocking there when for stuff to do?

  • Jen

    Carla, please come to the heights! You are now my inspiration to be in the culinary career.

  • peaceyall

    i went to the top chef tour this morning at marie reed on 18th st in adams morgan. it was awesome! spike and carla were both there doing cooking demos, but really it was all about getting to see them up close and in person and them entertaining the audience. i got to ask carla about spaces she was looking at, and she’s considering columbia heights. i suggested georgia ave as a great location and she said she’s looking at georgia and new hampshire, among other places in columbia heights, so that was great to hear! please pick georgia ave!!!


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