Phila Rawlings Hach, American cooking show host, Died at 89

Phila Rawlings Hach was born in 1926 and died on December 2, 2015.

She was an American cooking show host.

Philla was always drawn to food and hospitality.

Before, she became a TV star, she led an eventful life, traveling the world as a flight attendant in the early days of international aviation.

Phila told Scene contributor Jennifer Justus in Justus’ recent book, Nashville Eats, during flight layovers, the aspiring cook visited the kitchens at the Savoy Hotel in London and the George V in Paris, just to see what she could learn.

She pioneered food TV by hosting a cooking show on WSM way back in 1950, died early today in a care facility in West Meade. She had been battling colon cancer for more than a year, according to her daughter-in-law, Sally Hach.

Hach also found time to speak at large gatherings, whether they were conventions in Las Vegas or at the Culinary Institute of America, where she met Stephen Durfee, one of this country’s most decorated pastry chefs.

“Phila was a charming and gracious woman,” said Durfee, who later traveled to Joelton to dine at her table.

“She so understood the concept of ‘hospitality’ and Southern hospitality.

The Southern food writer Betty Fussell was more succinct in her appraisal of Mrs. Hach.

In an interview in 2008, she shared this philosophy: “I’m just intoxicated with life. I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in life, and goodness, and everything.”

Back in Nashville, producers at WSM, still in the process of figuring out just what a TV show should be, recruited the pretty and extroverted young cook to host a program called Kitchen Kollege.

Eventually she met and married Adolf Hach, a German businessman.

They both founded a popular inn in Clarksville, tapping the new phenomenon of interstate highway travel their guestbook yielded many high-powered connections.

Phila had the honor of feeding an enormous delegation of United Nations representatives at a luncheon in Centennial Park, in 1976.

She has written many popular cookbooks (in the film she estimates 17). “I’m not a fabulous cook, but I’m an interesting one,” she says modestly.

In recent years, she was rediscovered by new generations.

Hach was one of the two dozen of Nashville’s most influential women in food, Philla tops the list of matriarchs.

She was recently honored by The Southern Foodways Alliance with the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award.

She had strong beliefs, but her empowering philosophy that appeals to current generations.

She left behind her sister, Clara Davenport; a brother, Art Rawlings; son Joe Hach and daughter-in-law Sally Hach; and three grandchildren: Joseph, Carter and Liza.

Phila was preceded in death by her husband Adolf Hach and a son, Adolf.

Services were held at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Joelton.

Phila Rawlings Hach passed away 89 yrs old.