12/30/2014 02:48 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

The Chew 's Carla Hall: Preaching Southern Biscuits and Food Diplomacy

At the recent Fabulous Food Show at the IX Center in Cleveland, famous chefs like Michael Symon and his ABC-TV The Chew cohort Carla Hall, preached the Foodie Gospel to the faithful jostling for seats at America's premiere Food & Wine Festival.

With 1,000,000 square feet of craft food and local favorites, there was plenty to chew on all weekend long. We hosted an episode of our travel series, A Fork on the Road Show, live from the Cooking Stage. We witnessed a Guiness Book of World Record's Record -- the world's tallest bacon sandwich. And we had a chance to chat with a few of America's most prolific chefs.

Carla Hall comes from Nashville, lives in Washington, DC and like me, believes biscuits are the key to happiness:

Carla delighted the crowd with backstage stories from The Chew, tidbits about her odyssey from accountant to TV chef, and translations of Southern aphorisms -- hint, when they say, "bless your heart" they don't really mean bless. And it's not your heart they're focused on.

But the most interesting part of our interview was Carla's take on food diplomacy. She pointed out that back in the day -- i.e., when our government kinda worked -- politicians from different parties would often sit down to dinner together. This not only provided an opportunity for visionaries with different visions of America to find common ground over a delicious meal and a bottle of wine, but often fostered real friendships. As a result, the House and Senate were more collegial places, working more productively and doing it in a more refined manner.

Contrast those sepia memories with today's ultra-polarized capitol -- where you take a litmus test before you make a reservation. Talking amiably across a dinner table has morphed to shouting across the aisle. We can blame them for the shouting, and U.S. for being distracted enough by all the noise to ignore the real problems we should be tackling together.

Food, according to Hall, is the biggest and best tent we can, and should, all gather under to digest the events of the day, share a laugh or three, and plan out a clever course for tomorrow. If we can only get a reservation at the place with the Blue & Red checked table cloths:

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