Disney Celebrates a Legacy of Soul with Chef Carla Hall

Celebrity chef and noted soul food expert Carla Hall visited Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., this week with her family. Hall embarked on a soulful culinary journey across the resort to experience a collection of culturally-inspired menu items found at various Disney restaurants. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

By Lynn Jones-Turpin – Celebrity Chef Carla Hall was front and center for Walt Disney World’s media tour promoting Disney’s “Cooking with Soul” and “Celebrate Soulfully’’ events to preview a myriad of restaurants inside Disney Springs and Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida. With her smiling and bubbling personality, Hall accompanied media guests for samplings of small bites, cocktails and international cuisine.

Bringing to the tables was Carla’s knack for taste, creativity and soul! First on the list was gumbo and beignets at Scat Cat’s Club and Lounge in Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. The Port Orleans Resort picks up where New Orleans leaves off. Entering the resort you immediately feel like you’re in the French Quarter complete with beads and a wishing well. With a small sample and quick taste test, guests agreed that the gumbo was lightly spiced and was on the list to secure a spot on New Orlean’s foodie roster! Next stop was Disney Spring’s restaurant, The Polite Pig for pork sliders, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Sitting next to Carla, she and I were ready for the mouth watering sliders as we hungrily popped the sprouts’ in our mouth! A few twist and corners in Disney Springs, we headed to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ restaurant for scrumptious shrimp‘n grits, mac and cheese and some of the best fried chicken this side of the Pecos! As the media crew took a short break, we finished the camaraderie tour with Tamarind-Braise Short Ribs, and simmering hot tea at Tiffins Restaurant inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

What a day, we were stuffed, full and ready for a quick nap. But hold on, to top off Carla’s knowledge of food, we were privy to a private cooking show with Hall and Disney chef Douglas James. The cooking demonstration produced some funny moments with Chef Carla as narrator for the freshly cooked lamb chops and sautéed collard greens. As our mouths continued to water and the aroma of the food permeated the air, we also had the opportunity to taste the dinners paired wines from the *McBride Sisters Wine Company, a minority-owned business.

Lynn with Chef Carla Hall

Chef Carla’s portfolio includes accolades as an accomplished chef, best-selling author, television personality, culinary contributor on Good Morning America, with features on the Food Network. Her knowledge of ‘soul food and food for the soul’ exemplifies how food, fun, creativity and soul can make a dish an ‘everyday in every way celebration’ for your family, partners and friends! Be it a girls trip, family vacation or staycation – plan a day to soulfully experience Disney Springs and Walt Disney Resorts! See you there! Autographed copies of Chef Carla’s book, ‘Carla Hall’s Soul Food Everyday and Celebration’ was a treat to receive!

To plan your trip and for more info visit:  www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/ or  www.disneysprings.com/celebrate-soulfully/

Chef Carla’s books can be purchased at www.amazon.com

From the Desk of Disney:
Disney’s #CelebrateSoulfully will “Ignite your senses as you immerse yourself in culturally inspired experiences—including entertainment, dining and shopping.
*Ask yourself, “What better way to #CelebrateSoulfully than with music that moves you, food that nourishes your soul and time with the people you love?
*The wines are available at Magic Kingdom Park and come highly recommended by Disney sommelier curator Debbi Sacleux, proprietor of Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park.

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