The following post was written by chef Carla Hall, author of Cooking With Love, cohost of ABC's The Chew, and contestant on Bravo's Top Chef.
I'm all about the recovery when I'm cooking. Sometimes, I even try to anticipate disasters. This simple tart is a solution to a problem that may not even exist. Don't have a tart pan with a removable bottom? Just put the dough on a baking sheet and fold it up over the filling! (Only works with dry fillings, of course.) And this garlicky, earthy mushroom base is perfect for a casual tart. It just begs to look all French country, so you can nonchalantly tell your guests, "Oh, I just threw this together." The mushrooms practically melt into the rosemary-ricotta layer and make this one of those truly satisfying meatless main dishes.
I had the chance to chat with the Top Chef fan favorite, and here's what she had to say about her new show and cooking with kids.
On getting involved with Superchef Kids:
"I was excited to get involved with the next generation of chefs. These kids grew up watching cooking shows and see the chefs as heroes. I had different mentors while growing up, and to see that not only are athletes big heroes to these kids but also chefs is really exciting. And cooking is something you do every day, so I was all in with both feet."
On why kids should be excited about getting in the kitchen and cooking:
"Actually, two parties need to be excited: first the parents need to get excited. Because kids in the kitchen means the child has a hand in what's being made for dinner, and they'll be more motivated to try new foods. Whoever cooks in the family is usually so pressed and just wants to get through dinner, forgetting they could have help. Just giving kids the little stuff you don't want to do, like peeling garlic, is so great for kids who want to get in the kitchen. And cooking is a good skill to learn: math, hand-eye coordination, and cleanliness all happen when working with food, which should really get parents excited!
"Then it's about the child having the opportunity to be creative, gaining confidence, and getting excited about where the food is coming from. There's nothing like seeing a kid's face light up when they've accomplished something in the kitchen."
Right now through Aug. 8, if you live in Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, or San Francisco, you've got the chance to snag deals from Carla Hall, Douglas Rodriguez, Mark Peel, Hector Santiago, and Mattin Noblia. "Emerging companies like Groupon are a perfect fit for our audience, allowing fans to engage with the chefs and food they see on our shows on a personal, one-on-one level," Bravo stated in a press release.
Sounds like these partnerships will only strengthen, given the changing marketing landscape — although I'd love to see a lineup that includes Jamie Lauren, Fabio Viviani, and the Voltaggio brothers. If you live in one of these cities, do you plan on going after a Top Chef-meets-Groupon deal?
In an upsetting turn of events, Carla lost her cool during the final challenge of Top Chef. Like many people, I was totally disappointed! It was tough to see the normally cheery chef get teary-eyed during judges' table, but you'll be happy to know that when I spoke with her yesterday, "Hootie" was back to her fabulously spirited self. The passionate chef had a lot to say about her experience, and to find out her thoughts on Casey and the competition, read more