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Celebrity chef Carla Hall shares a laugh with Kim and Eliana Portale during an autograph session Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service store at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall shares a laugh with Kim and Eliana Portale during an autograph session Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service store at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Celebrity chef Carla Hall shares a laugh with Kim and Eliana Portale during an autograph session Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service store at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall shares a laugh with Kim and Eliana Portale during an autograph session Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service store at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Celebrity chef Carla Hall is currently working on her third book. Her first, "Cooking with Love," was on sale at the AAFES exchange at Aviano Air Base on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, for fans to pick up a copy and get it autographed.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall is currently working on her third book. Her first, "Cooking with Love," was on sale at the AAFES exchange at Aviano Air Base on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, for fans to pick up a copy and get it autographed. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
5-year-old Olivia Kirchhofer and mother Danielle watch celebrity chef Carla Hall sign a book on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the base exchange. Hall is on a three-base USO tour in Europe before resuming her co-host duties on "The Chew' next week.
5-year-old Olivia Kirchhofer and mother Danielle watch celebrity chef Carla Hall sign a book on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at the base exchange. Hall is on a three-base USO tour in Europe before resuming her co-host duties on "The Chew' next week. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Celebrity chef Carla Hall talks about using the correct amount of salt during a cooking demonstration Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at La Bella Vista Club at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall talks about using the correct amount of salt during a cooking demonstration Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at La Bella Vista Club at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Celebrity chef Carla Hall gets some help from one of the cooks she's tutoring during a demonstration Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 at La Bella Vista Club at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall gets some help from one of the cooks she's tutoring during a demonstration Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 at La Bella Vista Club at Aviano Air Base, Italy. ()
Celebrity chef Carla Hall chops onions during a cooking demonstration at La Bella Visa Club at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Hall is one a three-base tour of Europe before resuming her co-hosting duties on "The Chew" next week.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall chops onions during a cooking demonstration at La Bella Visa Club at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Hall is one a three-base tour of Europe before resuming her co-hosting duties on "The Chew" next week. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — Carla Hall didn’t quite step out of the television and onto Aviano Air Base on Wednesday.

But fans got a chance to check her out on “The Chew” on American Forces Network in the morning and to talk to her a few hours later at the base exchange.

Hall wanted to meet troops and their families, and thanks to the magic of television — the show is currently on summer hiatus and repeats are airing — she was able to visit Aviano.

“We don’t get too many (famous) people coming out to Aviano,” said Danielle Kirchhofer, who had a few minutes to chat with the celebrity chef. Her 5-year-old daughter, Olivia, showed off her doll, though declined to have it in a photo with Hall, who spent about an hour signing autographs and mingling with Army and Air Force Exchange Service customers.

She then headed to La Bella Vista Club for a pair of cooking demonstrations.

Hall, making her fourth tour sponsored by the USO and her first overseas, said she doesn’t have any real ties to the U.S. military. And that’s one of the reasons she’s so interested in making such trips.

“Being in the food industry, you ask, ‘What can I do to give back,’ ” she said. “It’s a way of saying, ‘Thank you. I see you and know what you’re doing for our country.’ ”

She definitely raised some cheer for those standing in line at the exchange. Several of those who greeted her said they’d been following her since her appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef” competition.

“We’re fans of both,” Yushica Walthour said.

Hall and her husband just finished a Mediterranean cruise and agreed to visit Vicenza and Aviano in Italy and then Rota in Spain on Friday before she heads back to the States and resumes taping “The Chew” next week.

harris.kent@stripes.com

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