Ilan Hall

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Ilan Hall
Born Ilan D. Hall
(1982-04-06) April 6, 1982 (age 35)
Education Culinary Institute of America
Culinary career
Cooking style Spanish, Israeli, Fusion

Ilan D. Hall (born April 6, 1982) is an American chef, best known as the winner of the second season of the Bravo television network's reality series Top Chef.

Life and career[edit]

Hall is a native of Great Neck, New York. His parents were both immigrants: his father from Glasgow, Scotland, and his mother from Israel. Both his parents were from Jewish families.[1][2]

As a teenager, Hall worked at Marine Fishery, a seafood store in his hometown of Great Neck[3] and was later trained at Italy's Lorenzo de' Medici Apicus Program[4][5] and at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He attended the CIA at the same time as his Top Chef runner-up Marcel Vigneron.[6] At the time of his season two Top Chef competition, Ilan was a line cook at Casa Mono, a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan.

He is perhaps best recognized as the winner of the most drama-filled season of Top Chef, which saw him involved in a series of non-cooking related antics related to his rivalry with another contestant, Marcel Vigneron. Bravo, the television network producing Top Chef, ranks Ilan's partaking in "The Head Shaving Incident" against Vigneron as "probably the biggest scandal in Top Chef history."[7] Many have cited Ilan and Marcel's disdain for one another as the most poignant aspect of season 2, as is demonstrated in the "Top Chef Reunion" episode hosted by season 5 contestant, Fabio Viviani. During this episode, staged several years after season 2, both Ilan and Marcel acknowledged that they had made amends since their departures from the hit cooking show and no longer were interested in being associated with the belligerence, which had plagued the near entirety of their particular season on Top Chef.

In August 2009, he opened his first restaurant, The Gorbals, in downtown Los Angeles.[8] Less than a week after opening, The Gorbals was shut down by the county health department because of an inadequate water heater.[9] It reopened on October 23, 2009, but then permanently closed in 2014.[10][11] In 2014, Hall opened a second iteration of The Gorbals restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[12][13] He redesigned the menu with an "Israeli Barbecue" concept in 2015 and renamed the restaurant ESH, the Hebrew word for fire.[14] ESH closed in September, 2016.

Hall hosted Knife Fight, a cooking competition show on the Esquire Network for four seasons.[15] In February 2017 NBCUniversal announced it was shutting down the Esquire Network cable channel.[16]

Hall and his partner Ayame Kawaguchi have one son, Theo, born in 2010.

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