The Untold Truth Of Ilan Hall

Ilan Hall is still recognized for rising to "Top Chef" fame as the winner of Season 2 in 2007 (via CheatSheet), and he continues to make headlines in the cooking world today. Immediately after winning "Top Chef," Hall went on to open The Gorbals. While this first venture had a false start due to a faulty water heater, it went on to serve dishes until 2014. Hall has also opened ESH, an eatery focused on Israeli Barbecue which also closed down in 2014, but he still remains the proprietor of the playfully named Ramen Hood.

Ramen Hood's menu reflects Hall's fun-loving and adventurous foodie spirit. Describing itself as a "vegan ramen" vendor, you can order some "Cold A** Noodles," "Banh Mi Poutine," or a side of "Togarashi Tater Tots" (via Grubhub). Hall is also still an active TV food personality with appearances on "Food to Get You Laid," "Knife Fight," and additional "Top Chef" seasons including the recent one in Portland, per IMDb). In 2021, according to People, you'll find Chef Ilan on the Voltaggio brothers' new show "Battle of Brothers" where he'll be one of a rotating group of celebrity guest judges.

Chef Hall breaks this reality TV rule

As the host of the cooking show "Knife Fight," Hall enjoyed being able to eliminate his least favorite part of reality cooking shows — gross ingredients (via Radar Online). "Knife Fight" is an after-hours cooking contest where challenger chefs are required to create two dishes at The Gorbals kitchen from three selected mystery ingredients, plus an available restaurant pantry. When Radar asked the chef and host about choosing not-so-nice ingredients for the dishes, Hall said, "I would never do that."

Elaborating further, Hall shared that terrible tasting ingredients aren't worth it, "That defeats the purpose of the show. Which is to make great food. In the end of it I'm eating it so I don't want to eat something made of strawberry milk powder and Skittles."

And what's more, that great food is the prize in and of itself. While the show was produced by Drew Barrymore and full of culinary experts, it's a test of skill rather than a game for a giant cash prize. Hall said, "We have a combination of Michelin star owners, James Beard Award-winners, Food & Wine 'Best New Chefs,' and still the only prize is a shi**y knife."

A scandalous 'Top Chef' season

The second season of "Top Chef" added the drama with perhaps one of the show's biggest scandals. Two of the strongest, and perhaps bitterest, competitors were Marcel Vigneron and Ilan Hall. While many have said the drama was played up for the cameras and that there is no true animosity, the two don't appear to be friendly post-show (via Las Vegas Weekly).

At a certain point in the show, the judges were getting ready to pick the finale contestants and the contestants themselves were getting ready to blow off some steam. Besides Hall and Vigneron, Sam Talbot, Elia Aboumrad, Cliff Crooks were also present, per HuffPost. While Vigneron was sleeping, Sam, Elia, Ilan, and Cliff were drinking, which somehow resulted in a late-night head-shaving incident. With emotions rising, Vigneron was then targeted for the next haircut. In his own words to Las Vegas Weekly, "I'm taking a nap on the couch, and Cliff picked me up in a full-nelson, tossed me on the floor. The plan was to toss me around like a rag doll and have Ilan hold a camera and Sam shave me while Cliff held me down."

Put simply, it was a prank turned assault. Show producer Shauna Minoprio later reflected: "Once we saw the tape, we had absolutely no choice but to ask Cliff to leave. I was very sorry to have to do so, as it was clear it was supposed to be a prank but it clearly went too far" (via Bravo).

Ilan Hall isn't afraid to poke fun at his mistakes

Ilan Hall is known for having a sense of humor, and often the biggest punchline of his own jokes is himself. In a throwback Instagram post Hall wrote, "#tbt in 2008 @matthewdeliso and I thought it would be a good idea to serve pork tartare. #trichinosis" (via Instagram). The entire post features inside jokes and reminiscing among many fellow chefs who are clearly also friends. Hall is quick with comebacks in the comments section.

A great example of Hall's humor can be found in a bio he submitted to Shalom Life stating, "At the age of 27, Ilan developed a form of energy that uses bacon to power a time machine. He has visited the Cretaceous period and has cooked Velociraptor eggs to a perfect over easy," (via Grubstreet). But that's not all! The bio continues, "He also visited an infant David Bowie and can personally confirm that he wrote the lyrics to the song 'China Girl'." Clearly, chef Hall is a jokester.

Ilan Hall and son Theo are huge Star Wars fans

Ilan Hall and his son Theo are huge "Star Wars" fans. We're big fans too since we get to enjoy all the sweet father-son moments that result from the force within these two. For instance, Hall made a cute post in December 2019 before the most recent trilogy concluded. Hall said, "Happy birthday my little Jedi #nospoilers" sharing a sweet sleeping pic of his little boy with a lightsaber effect added and guest pass shown (via Instagram). Describing that same joyous occasion on another post, the chef said, "Jedi weapons, Disneyland, a self-driving car, room service and channel surfing. A perfect birthday I'd say. I don't think he's ready for tomorrow. #theriseofskywalker" (via Instagram).

For his son's seventh birthday, Hall shared a photo of a jacketed birthday boy in a Darth Vader helmet captioned, "7 years ago this little dark lord came into the world. He insisted on wearing this to the last Jedi." And the fandom carries on in 2021 with son Theo pictured posing with a lightsaber amid red Sith troopers and a caption stating: "May the 4th be with you" (via Instagram).

Ilan Hall and his partner Ayame have been together for almost a decade

Speaking of the adorable Theo, Ilan Hall and his partner Ayame Kawaguchi have been together for over a decade. In a September 2018 social post, Hall wrote, "9 years and 1 day with this stunner. After all that time I still learn about you more each day. Weird that you haven't aged though," (via Twitter). Clearly enjoying each other and co-parenting, a sense of humor goes a long way in this family, as seen when Kawaguchi's shared a cute post in April 2020: "Happy birthday to this knucklehead. He's the best! First birthday in 10yrs we've spent in quarantine. We can add that to the checklist. @ilanhall Your son and I love ya!" (via Instagram).

As evident on her feed, Kawaguchi and Hall's social values clearly align, as well as their love for food and fun. Kawaguchi posted a photo of her partner and son in spring 2021, reflecting, "These dang dudes keep me going. Keep me hustling. Keep me grounded. We are far from perfect and I wouldn't have it any other way. Hurdles and roadblocks are nothin' to us. This year has had us on our knees a few times but we always get up and stand taller. Love you guys! #ruffboyz."

While Ilan Hall's food celebrity continues to rise, it's sweet to see his family helps keep him grounded.