The Chew’s Carla Hall Is Opening A Restaurant (With A Little Help From Drexel)
So first, the bad news. Famous TV person, Carla Hall, isn’t opening any of her Nashville-style hot chicken restaurants here (which is fine by me because I like Kevin Sbraga’s version just fine). The way things are looking right now, she’ll be opening in NYC first, then Washington D.C., with a Kickstarter funding program already in place–because god knows, what with the cookbooks and TV shows and everything else she does, I’m sure that my ten bucks is what’s really standing between her and her dream of opening a chicken restaurant.
But putting aside for a moment my issues with celebrities using crowdfunding platforms, this whole thing does have a kinda cool Philadelphia angle. Hall turned to Drexel’s Center For Hospitality and Sports Management as a partner in her enterprise, and now, according to Drexel, “culinary and hospitality students at Drexel will work alongside Hall and her team to learn every aspect of opening a new restaurant and help develop the first location in New York City.”
Which is a pretty cool opportunity for Drexel’s students. Working through the Drexel Food Lab and Restaurant Lab, they’ll be scaling recipes, organizing sourcing, designing the kitchen and recruiting and hiring a team–or helping out with all that, anyway. And this all came together through James Feustel, director of the Department of Culinary Arts at Drexel, who’d been consulting on Hall’s project as a kitchen designer (that’s what he did before becoming a teacher) when he realized there was an opportunity here to involve the school and students in a big way.
According to Feustel, one of his goals is to have students understand how to solve real problems in the restaurant industry, not just classroom versions. And this program will certainly be a step in that direction.