Fans of ABC TV’s afternoon cooking show The Chew know they can expect more than just demonstrations of the latest recipes every weekday at noon. The cast of celebrity chefs spend as much time enjoying each other’s company as they do whipping up their favorite dishes.

Among the crew of The Chew, it is not hard to pick out Carla Hall. Aside from the fact that she is the tallest chef in the kitchen (when you include the hair, anyway), she is considered the most vivacious by her many fans. A runner-up on Top Chef, the southern-born Carla brings a down-to-earth quality to the show with her emphasis on preparing comfort foods for family and friends.

It is always gratifying to find out that the personalities we see on television are pretty much the same in real life. A recent personal appearance by Carla Hall at the world famous Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles revealed the chef to be just as warm and welcoming as she is every weekday on ABC. After signing copies of her new book, Carla’s Comfort Foods, she invited guests to step over to the demonstration kitchen of Sur La Table for a free-wheeling conversation that touched on the judges of Top Chef, her desire to appear on Dancing With the Stars, and her favorite Disney theme park attractions.