Conference Call with Carla Hall

On Wednesday, we'll learn who the fan favorite is for Top Chef 5. If our readers are a good barometer of the general Top Chef viewing audience, then Carla Hall is the main contender for that title.

At first on Top Chef 5, it seemed like maybe she was on track to be the goofy comic relief of the season, but not a serious contender. But it seemed like she gained confidence as she continued in the competition, and by the end, her talents and abilities were clear.

We spoke with her about the time on the show, what she thinks about Casey Thompson and Stefan Richter, and her future plans.

We spoke with Carla before Casey Thompson's recent comments became public, so one can't know how she would have responded had she read the rather harsh take Casey had on the final. But it's hard to imagine someone who set out to compete with love would not try to rise above. She did in her initial comments about the finale, stressing that the failure was her own, and that she not only didn't blame Casey, she wishes she could convince the fans who do to think differently. She said she takes full responsibility for the outcome.

She said by that point in the competition, she was exhausted by the rigors of competition. So relieved to not only have the help of a sous chef, but also one who had been through the Top Chef process, she admits she gave her power away.

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