What’s in Carla Hall’s Fridge?

Among other things, a lot of chowchow

Heated Editors
Published in
3 min readJul 7, 2020


Photos: Carrie Solomon

By Carrie Solomon and Adrian Moore

This Q&A with Carla Hall is an excerpt from Chefs’ Fridges: More Than 35 World-Renowned Cooks Reveal What They Eat at Home, released in May and the second book from the authors, following Inside Chefs’ Fridges, Europe.

Heated: You seem to do a lot of batch cooking.

Carla Hall: For our Thanksgiving and Christmas, we always have collard greens and chowchow, which is a pickle relish. I grew up eating chowchow. The first time I had to make chowchow was for an event. So I thought if I’m making it for them, then I’m making it for myself as well. I must have made 30 pounds of chowchow when I only needed 10 pounds for the event. So I gave lots of it away. Since it’s a pickle, it doesn’t go bad — it only gets better.

How do you eat your chowchow?

I eat the chowchow on everything — on eggs for breakfast, hot dogs, tortilla chips, on everything. I like chowchow so much I basically use the other food like a spoon. I love sour. I love pickles.

Something we’d never find in your fridge?

Honestly even if I had canned cranberry sauce in there, if I want it and I’m buying it, it’s OK. I can’t be food-shamed.

Where do you go food shopping in New York?

Trader Joe’s around the corner, Fairway, the farmers market on Wednesdays at Union Square. One thing I have never done is order my groceries online. Another thing I don’t do here is order delivery. When you are not from that mindset it is strange. I do a little carryout, but I can count the number of times I have done it here. In D.C., I shop at Whole Foods, as it’s close to my house, and a daily farmers market. I like shopping there because I can taste. I can get onesies — just one of something.

What is next to your refrigerator? A standing pot rack?

I have to do a lot of recipe testing, so I need a variety of pots and pans and I got this pot tree to make it easier. Now when I’m cooking for myself I use them more often too.

Any clever uses for leftovers?