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Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen: a slow-cooked, fast-served neighborhood eatery serving up old-fashioned southern comfort goodness.
Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen: a slow-cooked, fast-served neighborhood eatery serving up old-fashioned southern comfort goodness.
1,550 backers pledged $264,703 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Update 1, Update 2 DCXV T-Shirt, Update 3, Update 4 Logo, Update 5 Drexel University, Update 6, Update 7, Update 8 Founder's Wall

Hootie Hoo, Kickstarters!

I'm so glad you dropped in. That's right, the time has come--I'm opening my very own comfort-style Southern Kitchen restaurant in NYC!

At Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen, you'll find slow-cooked, fast-served food that hugs you. A neighborhood eatery serving up old-fashioned southern goodness. You'll be welcomed like family and soon feel right at home. 

My Nashville-inspired "spot next door" will take you back to my sweet ole' Granny's kitchen--the place my love of food started and what made me the chef I am today. I’m bringing the full-of-love, southern Nashville goodness to you, and done right!

Let Me Catch You Up

I’m Carla Hall. You may know me from my time on Bravo's Top Chef, or more recently on the food talk show The Chew, which I co-host on ABC. You might even have one of my beloved recipe books on your kitchen shelf.

I grew up in Nashville and learned to appreciate good food from my grandmother, Freddie Mae. Let me tell you about it:

And now, I'm ready to serve up authentic Nashville love in New York City with…

Nashville Hot Chicken!

What is Nashville Hot Chicken? It’s a unique twist on southern fried chicken, traditionally fried in an iron skillet and then tossed in a spicy cayenne paste. Slow brined, brushed with my secret hot oil recipe, and crisped to perfection. You’ll find it served simply, on a slice of white bread with a dill pickle. Oh, and anybody who’s had Nashville Hot Chicken has a hot chicken face:

Why Now, Carla?

To be honest I resisted the idea of opening a restaurant for years. I didn’t know what I wanted to serve yet. I thought long and hard about it, and then it came to me like a sweet smell. Fried chicken! Fried chicken and southern sides! Ok, here are all the juicy details..

What’s For Dinner

It's all about the chicken! I'll be servin' it up real hot with some of my other favorite sides like southern greens, mac and cheese, picnic coleslaw, and don't forget the country white bread and pickles. Oh, and cornbread waffles on the weekends. And then when it's time for dessert? Goo Goo clusters, red velvet whoopie pies, bread pudding, and my guilt-free petite cookies! Can you taste the goodness?!

Southern Fried Hot Chicken in The Big Apple

Backer Rewards

This is where you come in. I've come up with a bunch of great goodies as rewards for backing this Southern Kitchen. Each one crafted by me with some sweet southern gratitude. See which one strikes you:

Help Me Build My Kitchen

I’m here on Kickstarter to build the actual Southern Kitchen

I have been cooking and sharing my love of food in one way or another for too many years to count, and along the way I have earned the love of millions of fans across America. Some of those fans have become good friends, and some of those good friends have become as close as family to me. 

Building a restaurant is a lot of work, and I’m building a team to help me do just that, but I knew the only place I could go for support to build something as personal to me as the kitchen in my first restaurant, is to my fans. No, my family.

I hope you'll be as excited about this as I am, and I want to share ALL of the ups and downs with you, from the very start, which is NOW!

Thank you Drexel!

My grandmother taught me, so you know I need to pass it on! In a unique partnership between our new Southern Kitchen and Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, culinary and hospitality students at Drexel will work alongside me and my team to learn every aspect of opening a new restaurant.

The Drexel team will work on-site in the new restaurant and in the Drexel Food Lab to:

  • Develop recipes and test menu items
  • Work on sourcing the best products
  • Analyze food, labor and energy costs
  • Design my restaurant kitchen!
  • Test and recommend commercial equipment
  • Create "best practices" for the Southern Kitchen roll-out
  • Help recruit and hire Carla’s restaurant team

If you think you know what culinary or hospitality school is like, think again! Drexel University and I teach the real world.

#HOTCHICKENFACE

Show me yours on Twitter & Instagram:

Get My Hot Chicken Recipe!

Risks and challenges

Risks, risks, risks. Lots of risks in opening a restaurant, but I feel that now is the time in my life to share my Nashville. The cost of opening a restaurant in most cities is high, and in New York City, it's the highest. That being said, New York City is the most visited, and it has the most concentrated, diverse set of hungry people in the country. As we open this "love letter to Nashville" we will continue to put in the time, thought, and tears (happy and sad) into the things that will need attention when opening this restaurant: projections, budgets, sales, the right pepper in the sauce, and hundreds of other big and tiny decisions. I bring you along for the ride (by that I mean updates--AND I might even need your help to make some tough decisions!).

After all the number crunching, we've come up with this conclusion: the food needs to be great, the place needs to be authentic, and the love needs to be everywhere.

Our promise to our backers and future guests: we will do everything we can to make sure that you have an amazing meal, we will treat our staff with the utmost respect, we will source the best product for you, and for a brief New York City moment, you will be able to slow down, enjoy the food and each others company.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    HOT CHICKEN!
    You’ll get a download of my Nashville Hot Chicken recipe and updates on the restaurant until we open, PLUS voting rights on upcoming decisions.

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    151 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    WHOOPIE!
    Everything in the $1 level + a whoopie pie of the month coupon good for 12 months (pickup in store) + a huge THANKS on the Southern Kitchen website.

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    49 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    GET BAKING! Everything in the $1 level + Carla's Lemon Black Pepper Dry Cookie Mix and a Southern Kitchen bandana in the restaurant's signature color. Simply add butter to the mix, throw on the bandana, roll up your sleeves and get in the kitchen to start cooking!

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    41 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BE A FOUNDER!
    Everything in the $10 level + your name, in full, on my FOUNDERS WALL in EVERY Southern Kitchen we open. Forever. Seriously.

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    563 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    FAMILY MEAL TO GO! Everything in the $25 level + the “I Swear I Cooked” family style meal from my official Southern Kitchen menu, including 12pc chicken: 3 breasts, 3 wings, 3 thighs, 3 drumsticks, 12 tenders, 2 large sides, 1 gallon of homemade tea or lemonade. Pick up from the restaurant upon opening. To carry all that tasty food we will help you hail a taxi! You won't get a deal on my Nashville Hot Chicken like this ever again!

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    112 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PICK A CARD, ALL THE CARDS!
    Everything in the $25 level + 12 limited edition recipe cards, including a signed Hot Chicken card, AND a signed Southern Kitchen menu. These prints will not be available like this ever again.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    170 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    LOOKING GOOD!
    Everything in the $50 level + a limited edition t-shirt that I created with my friends at DCXV in Nashville. This shirt will not be available anywhere else, ever.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    79 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    JUST FOR YOU!
    Everything in the $50 level + a copy of my “Comfort Foods” cookbook, personalized just for you (or anyone you choose).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    162 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SUNDAY SUPPER!
    Everything in the $25 level + 2 tickets to a Sunday Supper event of your choice in 2015, where I’ll cook a special, intimate, southern supper. Do drop in!

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    77 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LET’S PARTY!
    Everything in the $25 level + 2 tickets to one of our soft open parties in 2015, ALL food included (no alcohol, sorry Kickstarter’s rule!) and with a special event gift bag to brag to all your friends.

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    Limited 60 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    NOW WE’RE COOKIN!
    Everything in the $25 level + you’ll join ME in a small group of other Backers in a semi-private cooking event in the restaurant + a copy of my “Comfort Foods” cookbook, personalized just for you, and a Carla Hall Southern Kitchen chef's coat.

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    33 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    DINE AL DESKO!
    Everything in the $25 level + my team will cater a southern meal for you in your home or office (lunch or dinner) up to 15 people. Sides, pies, (chicken) thighs—the works. All you have to do is come pick it up.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    LET'S EAT!
    Everything in the $25 level + dinner at the restaurant! Bring 9 of your friends for a Southern Kitchen dinner cooked by me and my team. All food included (but not alcohol, sorry Kickstarter's rule!), and you'll all go home with a special event gift bag.

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    2 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE BIG SHOW!
    Everything in the $25 level + my Southern Kitchen will cater a party for up to 100 guests. Food is on us but the staffing, delivery, tax, and alcohol (sorry, Kickstarter's rule!) is not included.

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    3 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE KITCHEN SINK!
    Everything in the $25 level + You. Me. My crew. My kitchen. All day. We’ll all spend the day together cooking and just hanging out! Tell 10 of your friends to show up for dinner to devour the feast we’ll make together! PLUS you'll get a personalized chef's coat autographed by me and the entire restaurant crew.

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    11 backers
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Funding period

- (36 days)