‘Top Chef’ Winner Ilan Hall’s First Restaurant Was Shut Down Almost Immediately

Top Chef is a reality competition series that has earned many fans over the years. One of Bravo’s top-rated shows, Top Chef has been a staple of the network since 2006. The series has spawned a number of celebrity chefs, many of whom have remained in the spotlight since being featured in the show.

One notable chef, who won the second season of Top Chef, has been in the headlines consistently over the years, although not always for positive reasons — and early on in his restaurant career, one up-and-coming culinary expert landed in the hot seat with one of his restaurants. 

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Top Chef debuted on Bravo in March 2006 and quickly rose to the top of the rating charts. The show features a handful of different professional chefs competing against each other to win a series of cooking challenges. The progressive elimination format lends to intense scenes, and the chefs will often experience extreme stress as they race to the finish — and score a chance to win a massive prize pot.

Over the years, Top Chef has spawned multiple spinoffs, including Top Chef Masters, Top Chef: Just Desserts, Top Chef: Amateurs, and Top Chef Junior. Still, the original series remains hugely popular with fans, and with an upcoming new season premiere set to debut in April 2021, fans are tuning in to past episodes of Top Chef, and learning all that they can about various contestants — and controversies. 

Ilan Hall won the second season of ‘Top Chef’

Ilan Hall standing behind a bar wearing blue
Ilan Hall | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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A number of contestants have used their time on Top Chef to springboard their restaurant career, going on to open restaurants and work on cooking shows. One of these successful chefs is Ilan Hall, who competed on the second season of Top Chef and went on to be crowned the winner of that season.

Hall has a culinary background and worked at a seafood store when he was a young man, before going on to study at the prestigious Lorenzo de’ Medici Apicus Program in Italy.

Hall was a fan-favorite competitor on the second season of Top Chef and after his success on the show, he decided to open his very own restaurant in downtown LA in the summer of 2009. Unfortunately, this venture of Hall’s wasn’t so successful, and only days after opening his restaurant, called The Gorbals, the chef ran into hot water, so to speak. 

Why was Ilan Hall’s first restaurant shut down?

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Only one week after Ilan Hall opened The Gorbals, it was shut down by the health department, reportedly due to a faulty water heater. Hall took their notes to heart and worked hard to resolve the issue, reopening his restaurant within a couple of months after it was shut down.

That wasn’t the end of the story, however — even though The Gorbals remained open until 2014, that year Hall announced that he was shutting the restaurant down in order to revamp the menu to feature more vegan options and move to a more improved location. To date, the restaurant has not yet reopened.

Still, Hall has opened several restaurants in the years since The Gorbals closed, including ESH, an eatery that focuses on Israeli Barbecue dishes, and Ramen Hood. ESH closed in 2014, but Ramen Hood remains open, serving the residents of LA. In addition to his restaurant work, Hall has remained visible in the entertainment space, working as a host and pop culture contributor.