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Ilan Hall

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Josie Malave Named ‘Executive Chef’

While Ilan Hall wanders around airports wearing street couture (or did you not read about that?), Josie Malave, voted off Top Chef early in the game, has ditched her Marlow & Sons sous-chef job to become executive chef at Island Café Bar and Lounge. The two-floor, 220-seater, set to open in March, will serve locally farmed, Mediterranean-themed tapas. We believe Malave when she tells us that she’s “actually happy” to have escaped Top Chef when she did. After all, some “seed money” winnings can (apparently) mess with a young cook’s head. Island Café Bar and Lounge, 35-15 36th St., Long Island City; no phone yet.

Ilan Hall Gets His Bling On; Chodorow Seeks His White Whale

Top Chef winner Ilan Hall is seen walking in the airport with paired Louis Vuitton bag and belt, white Nikes with pink laces, and a $12,000 Patek Philippe diamond watch. [Snack] Jeffrey Chodorow offers an Ahab-like reward for the first employee who spots Frank Bruni, promising him a Caribbean vacation. [NYP] Related: We Ask Jeffrey Chodorow If He’s Been Feeling Well Lately The Gobbler Responds to Mr. Chodorow’s Broadside [Grub Street] The social scene at Morandi is predictably exclusive: “When Keith McNally opens a restaurant, the famous will come. The fabulous will follow. The walk-ins will wait.” [Bloomberg] Related: Keith McNally on Why Morandi Will Be His Last Restaurant Ever

Rocket Rod Dances Back Into the River Café; Nobody Likes Ilan

Rod Stewart, banned for life at the River Café for pulling his own “rod” out, gets readmitted after a penitential jig for owner Buzzy O'Keefe. [NYDN] McDonald's coffee "the cheapest and the best," according to Consumer Reports. Of course, it was only going up against Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, and Starbucks. [NYDN] Frank Bruni also thinks Marcel got the shaft in the Top Chef finale. Does Ilan have any fans in the media at all? [NYT]

‘Top Chef’ Exclusive: A Chef’s Chef

At this point, we have no idea whether Ilan Hall will take the Top Chef title tonight — after a profile of him as winner leaked on Food & Wine’s Website, the magazine revealed that they also profiled Marcel as champ. But there’s one thing we do know, and it’s exclusive: Ilan’s “underground favorite” restaurant. In an interview a few weeks back, Hall recommended Chez Le Chef, speaking highly of Chef Frédéric Piepenburg, himself a minor celebrity. “It’s really tasty, old-world Austrian and French food,” said Hall. “You can order breakfast in bed, and he’ll deliver the whole meal in a basket, picnic-style. Just give him 24 hours in advance. He bakes all his breads, he makes all his desserts. He’s this crazy old baker that has this gigantic moustache that sort of connects to his hair. I think the restaurant is also his apartment. There’s no one like him.” — Jada Yuan

‘Top Chef’ Winner Revealed — For Real!

As you no doubt remember, Ilan Hall quit his post at Casa Mono last week, fueling speculation that he’d taken top prize in Top Chef. Now we have an apparent confirmation: Eater LA has the text of an article that went up on Food & Wine’s Website for about fifteen minutes yesterday. The teaser? “How did Ilan Hall, the 24-year-old with the Tintin ‘do, beat out fourteen other contestants to become Top Chef on the Bravo reality show? And what’s he planning to do with the $100,000 he won?” Oops. Something tells us Food & Wine won’t have such an easy time getting the inside scoop next time. Top Chef Spoiled Again [Eater L.A.] Earlier: ‘Top Chef’ Wannabes, Now Is Your Chance — to Get Baked With Padma Lakshmi [Grub Street] Sam Talbot (Formerly) of ‘Top Chef’ Splurges at Nobu [Grub Street] Red Cat Owner Betting on Ilan to Win ‘Top Chef’ [Grub Street] So Hot She’s Flammable: Host roasted by top chefs. [NYM] ‘Top Chef’'s Marcel Doesn't Love Joël Robuchon That Much [Daily Intel]

‘Top Chef’ Fans Going Wild Online

Update: Snack reports that Ilan Hall has quit his line cook post at Casa Mono. Let the speculation as to whether this is because he won the show or lost it begin! The Top Chef fans have spoken – or, rather, they’ve been bitching on the Internet. As America waits to find out whether Sam, Ilan, Elia, or Marcel gets the boot in tonight’s penultimate episode, it’s clear that the crowd’s heart is with Marcel, the Joël Robuchon cook the rest of the cast has been bullying all season. “I’m full of impotent rage at the idea that Ilan, Sam or Elia will win either of the competitions (fan favorite or Top Chef),” writes baconeggs on Television Without Pity.