Top Chef

John ‘JE’ Englebert Threatens to Rip Ilan Hall’s Head Off

“JE who?” Photo: Getty Images

Suzie Wong impresario John “JE” Englebert, last seen publicly excoriating Flavor Flav for failing to show up at a party at one of his clubs, e-mails to tell us he’s “stunned” that Ilan Hall backed out of a deal to be chef at his new spot, ¡pasé!, which we earlier reported would be on 455 West 16th Street. The press release is classic Englebert.

“I will rip his head off for screwing me!” Says Englebert. Englebert with several prominent business partners is opening Pase, an upscale, high-end Spanish-themed restaurant/lounge in the Meatpacking district NYC. “Hall and I exchanged numerous emails and traded phone calls. Explains Englebert, He agreed to be the executive chef at my new space for which he would get a weekly salary and percentage in the place in return for a nominal investment. I thought we had a done deal! - the food sections of New York magazine and Time Out New York even ran stories.” [Actually, Grub Street’s story made clear that Ilan’s participation was merely the plan being put forth to investors.] The turning point came this week when Hall, a Great Neck Long Island native, was a no-show at an important meeting with Englebert and his partners. No calls, no explanation! “I was stunned,” gripes Englebert. “He may be a reality TV star, but this doesn’t give him the right to act like an ass…I have a sizeable fortune invested in the space already.” Englebert also adds that all his places make money; he’s been doing it a long time since he started out as a promoter for deposed nightlife kingpin Peter Gatien. “If he was nervous about putting money into the space, he should have talked to me man-to-man, not running like a dog with his head between his legs.”

For his part, Hall tells “Page Six,” which also got the release, that he never spoke to Englebert about the project — he told an associate that he would help out, but then cut ties when the self-proclaimed “Nightlife Lord” told Time Out that he was deciding between Hall and Daisy Martinez of Daisy Cooks! Hall is in L.A. right now, concentrating on a restaurant called the Gorbles — “old Jewish food, date-raped by bacon.” And really, how’s he going to give that up?

Not so fast: Ilan not a sure thing at ¡pasé! [TONY]

Earlier: Ilan Hall to Be Chef at Spanish Meatpacking-District Venture?

John ‘JE’ Englebert Threatens to Rip Ilan Hall’s Head Off