What makes Ilan Hall Top Chef?

What makes Ilan Hall Top Chef?

There are 26 comments on the Newsday story from Feb 2, 2007, titled What makes Ilan Hall Top Chef?. In it, Newsday reports that:

What did you make of Bravo's Top Chef, and what is this thing called "molecular gastronomy" that everyone kept talking about? I was completely addicted to the program, and what's more, I think that the final ...

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Brandy Holbrook

Jacksonville, FL

#1 Feb 2, 2007
I'm so glad Ilan won! I've been on his side since the first episode, and I think he definitely earned it.
camille marcone

Huntington Station, NY

#2 Feb 2, 2007
Ilan is a waste!! he'a passive aggresive bully.........horrible human being and rewarded for it ....what a world!!! Now that he's gone from Casa Mono I'll check it out.
Newsday Is Crooked

Santa Clara, CA

#3 Feb 2, 2007
Right...of course you would praise Ilan - talk about cronyism.

No, Ilan is not cooking traditionally. He merely copies the menu off of Casa Mono and cooked them out. Laughable and pathetic. Zero creativity is NOT the same as traditional. The only reason he won the competition is that he's a punk-ass bully. Top Chef so far is Harold from season 1. Icklan will always be remembered as the Spanish food menu copying cook. Oh and also as disgusting two-faced obnoxious jerk.

Nashville, TN

#4 Feb 2, 2007
Ilan's food "consistently tasted good?" What are you talking about? The chocolate covered chicken livers, the soggy toast with baby eels... those are just two disgusting things he made. Can you name two things Marcel did that were so nasty tasting?
Missa from WI

Eau Claire, WI

#5 Feb 2, 2007
I agree with of you Camille and Newsday! Marcel was treated horribly by Ilan. Are those qualities of a Top Chef? Putting people down? I don't think so.

Utica, KY

#6 Feb 3, 2007
I believe the whole series would have been better if the judges were less dramatic. I believe the producers should have stayed out of the clip job. What happens on their own time should stay in Vegas. I would have taken the clippers to both end of Vigneron. No one in the trade is going to put up with him for 10 minutes. He will never cook/chef anywhere (betcha,we'll see). I think Sam should have been in the run off and was glad to see some of the former contestants helping at the end. I like the visiting chef and what they did for the show. Hope in the future to see less dramatics and more discussion of the ingredients, taste and preparation of the dishes.

Keep on Ilan,


Alexandria, VA

#7 Feb 3, 2007
First of all, Ilan started to make poorer and poorer showings as the elimination challenges became more difficult. Any atttempt of his to be creative resulted in, as Eric Ripert so kindly put it, something "that shouldn't be served in a restaurant." His food was consistently good when it was fare stolen off of his restaurant's menu. So I suppose one should award the prize to La Casa Mono, for "consistently good" food.

Secondly, no matter what his food, Ilan is a dishonest and disgusting human being. I like how his mom is getting Newsday to plug for him but the damage is done.

United States

#8 Feb 4, 2007
The people who ate Ilan's food chose him as Top Chef. I thought Ilan was wonderful on the show. His love of cooking came thru. As did his sweet nature, youthfulness and eagerness for more culinary knowledge. I’m sure this win will serve him well!

All of the mommyism blather being posted on blogs regarding how unfairly Marcel was treated is pathetic. Marcel’s behavior alone reaped what it sowed. Some reactions to Marcel's behavior weren’t perfect but the outcome of those reactions was negligible to him. Marcel did great on the show; he went very far in a highly competitive competition and is probably fielding tons of offers because of his talent. Good for him!
Charming Dinner Guest

Falls Church, VA

#9 Feb 4, 2007
I will remember the name of Ilan Hall so I'll be sure that I never eat at a restaurant Ilan Hall is associated with.

Hellertown, PA

#10 Feb 4, 2007
Amen Charming Diner Guest!!!

Fleming, GA

#11 Feb 4, 2007
You wrote: Those who criticized Hall for staying within his Spanish comfort zone missed the point that Vigneron, for all his vaunted creativity, was also cooking in a comparably narrow idiom, that of molecular gastronomy.

What you apparently fail to see is that most of Hall's work was directly cribbed from the Casa Mono menu. If you cook the exact same dishes 40 hours a week for a couple of years, A: you're going to be pretty good at making them, and B: that's a far cry from coming up with original dishes in a comparably narrow idiom. Nice attempt to rebut criticism of a guy you know slightly through his mother, but many of us see through it.

Cheyenne, WY

#12 Feb 4, 2007
Did you watch the entire series? Because during the Thanksgiving episode, Marcel made a turkey roulade using the sous-vide
method to cook it. Do your research !!

Mrs. Hall, the lame attempts to prop up your son are laughably transparent. Please give it up.

Any culinary skill Ilan has displayed is eclipsed by his shameful behavior on the show. He is not a man of maturity, nor is he a man of strength, character, wisdom, experience and life.

United States

#13 Feb 4, 2007
I loved Top Chef. I began watching with the first
Top Chef. I think that it is exciting, educational, and addicting! I believe that the judges did an exceptional job, as did all of the chefs. It all comes down to luck...who went first, who helped in the final challenge, even who's equipment worked correctly. Whatever it's
Great Entertainment! I can't wait for the next one.


#14 Feb 5, 2007
Ilan, I've been a line cook before, for my mother, and i hated it. Unlike you, i'm very thankful for not having to do that work ever again!. Yikes! I'm soooo tired of the kitchen! Yet, you rocked it! How do you spell Kudos? Is that a candy bar? Or Cute-does?(The office).
Hmmm...I've just re-read what I typed and I thought, "oops" I made a mistake. And I have to admit that i miss Dwight too.

United States

#15 Feb 5, 2007
What made Ilan Hall Top Chef had nothing to do with his cooking but everything to do with gang mentality. Shame on Bravo for thinking America would be outraged by a non-conformist winner and also for congratulating the cruel and slimey behavior Hall exhibited throughout the show. Mommy Hall - you must be proud.

Lakewood, NJ

#16 Feb 5, 2007
Hall (a Great Neck native whom I know slightly since his mother works for Newsday)
I think that explains this entire article.
marcel is the real winner

Williston Park, NY

#17 Feb 5, 2007
marcel should have won. the fact that ilan attempted to create foam meanwhile, he was making fun of marcel the whole time about fomaing everything- ilan wouldnt even be able to follow instructions in a book on how to foam. i disagree with your article. i've tasted enough spanish food in local restaurants. i dont think he deserved to win. ilan is an immature bully who needed to join in or rather start the bullying to beat the real winner, marcel.

and the only reason you favor him in this article is that his mother works for newsday. that seems fake.
marcel won

Williston Park, NY

#18 Feb 5, 2007
adding to my last comment,
you should be fired for not checking your references prior to publishing this article. i saw marcel's clip on the view and I agree with everything rosie said. i believe ilan, sam, elia, and mike conspired to sabotage marcel in any way they could. and if watch closely- ilan and elia seemed a bit more than just friends in the first part of the finale. i guess sleeping with your competitors to make allies with them - to have her also turn against marcel works for those who lack talent and origonality like ilan. ilan your a slut and a lowlife. i like spanish food but wouldnt eat anything you make for the mere fact that you may spit on my food.

Washington, DC

#19 Feb 7, 2007
When the writer says Marcel Vigneron cooked in the "narrow idiom of molecular gastronomy," I have to wonder if she even bothered to watch the series. A few of the things he made, off the top of my head -- pork chops and mashed potatoes, sugar free lemonade, fruit salad, lamb kabobs, potato cannoli, tempura vegetables, salmon and beets, poached eggs and hash browns... None of these things had anything to do with molecular gastronomy. The point that the writer misses is that no one is faulting Ilan for using traditional cooking techniques. He's being faulted for showing such a limited range. Nearly everything he made was Spanish and ripped straight off the menu of his former employer. Marcel only dabbled in MG and proved that he understand a variety of cooking techniques and deserves credit for his versatility and creativity.
Ilan is homophobic PIG


#20 Feb 11, 2007
Marcel, an effeminate man, was bullied, called sissy, and assaulted on the show "Top Chef" by straight men, including the winner "Ilan," which led to a female at a Vegas club essentially gay or "sissy" bashing him. Whether or not he is gay is irrelevant.

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