And the Winner of Top Chef Season 2 Is…

Ilan Hall, the 24 year-old from New York City.

Was it just me or did Ilan totally start rubbing you the wrong way toward the end of this season? He was so cocky and obnoxious to everyone around him, saying how much better he was than Marcel and taking low jabs at him. Not that Marcel‘s a saint, but the personal attacks on him were pretty uncalled for.

My grandma can’t understand why nobody liked Marcel. “He seems like a nice guy,” she’d say, “He never yells at anyone. Why does nobody like him?”

Everyone got SO snaky at the end except for fan fave Sam–the only one who didn’t come off like a jerk. Oh well, there’s always next year…

But on Bravo reality TV, did anyone else see the first half of Top Design? WHY DOES TODD OLDHAM SPEAK LIKE A WEIRD GAY ROBOT?

Published by Laura

I run The Modern

5 replies on “And the Winner of Top Chef Season 2 Is…”

  1. A big nod of agreement.

    Ila did come off as a big asshole at the end. What in the world is this guy’s problem? And WHAT was up with the unprovoked swipe at last year’s winner Harold? It was all just uncalled for.

    I agree with Grandma, Marcel seemed to be just fine to me. I think everybody just wanted a whipping boy and he had the unfortunate personality of being a bit of a pompous weakling.

    And YES, Todd Oldham was insane with that voice. I had to mute it at points. I think the show looks fine but unfortunately, he is making it unwatchable.

  2. I was actively rooting for Marcel at the end. An atypical reality tv allegiance switch for me but Ilan just kind of gradually showed just how manipulative he was as the show progressed. Still, I think Bourdain put it best, “(Ilan) …DID manage to get others to do his dirty work (if ineptly). Also a useful skill. If not the most admirable of young men–it is certainly well within reason to imagine him as a successful chef who serves good food at a profit.”

  3. HAHA totally agreeee…. when i started watching the show i hoped either sam or ilan would win… BUT near the end betty/ilan got really irritating when they’d get so worked up over marcel! and marcel’s dishes on the final episode were SOOOOO pretty. i was surprised ilan won.. elia (sp?) helped him every so often through out the show.. UNFAIR! and yes.. todd oldham has the weirdest voice to match his look… (reminds me of bill gates.)

  4. Sam was a sneaky snake. You just weren’t paying attention to the trouble he stirred up but was careful not to be caught at (except by the cameras).

    Remember him getting Frank all riled up over his toothbrush so that he ended up threatening Marcel with bodily harm ‘the next time’?

    Bringing up others’ cheating (extra olive oil) during the Camp Glucose episode, but only at the JT when his position was jeopardized (not when it could have been corrected/verified or protected the health of the campers), but unwilling to name names.

    He asks for Marcel’s help plating during the Sense and Sensuality episode and gives him a choice–can you help or will you be too busy? Marcel knew he had too much to do to be able to help. However, what is not said out loud is that Marcel did help with Sam’s dish by slicing Sam’s yellow beets for his dish (shown twice, and then switch over to commentary from Sam about how Marcel was selfishly not helping. (Marcel was also using beets, of another color, but for a sauce) That same episode, you’ll notice during the planning stage, Marcel is talking out loud while Sam is quiet and says he will be making a lobster soup. Lo and behold, Sam shortly afterward decides he will be using lobster as one of the proteins in his dish. One of the rewards for Sam winning the quickfire episode beforehand was that he could choose which course to serve and which protein to use. No one else could use the same protein as Sam. And while Marcel is picking out beets for the dish he decided then decided on, here comes Sam, picking out beets for his dish. Coincidence? Maybe, but looking at the pattern of Sam’s behavior, there’s a good chance it was intentional manuevering to put Marcel at a disadvantage.

    How about when Ilan is filming Cliff’s assault on Marcel and Sam is sitting on the couch laughing, and then after Marcel is released and goes in the other room, Sam encourages Ilan to follow after him with the camera. (Sam was as much of a participant in that event as Cliff and Ilan by being an active observer who was enjoying the moment.)

    Remember Sam encouraging Ilan and Elia in the first part of the finale to use ‘cheating’ as the charge against Marcel (instead of warning them against it) and then leaving Ilan and Elia hanging out there on the limb once Sam gauged the judges’ reaction to the unsubstantiated charges.

    Worst of all, he took full credit for Marcel’s third course dish, including one of the ingredients, at the finale JT. Marcel insists Sam only made a suggestion for a sauce made from sea beans (one of the ingredients already planned for the dish) and that all the ingredients were in the original plan and the missing ingredient was the fish. He only half-heartedly helps during the 4-hour prep the first day of working as Marcel’s sous chef, only making a vinaigrette and slicing mushrooms. (and he may have been part of a planned sabotage of leaving key ingredients behind at the hotel, although there is no definitive proof available) — Marcel had assigned either Mike or Sam the responsibility of packing all the refrigerated items–the orchids were left behind and so were the fish. The dressing and another item were caught by Marcel at last minute,or they, too, would have been left behind. Note the lack of concern in both Sam’s and Mike’s attitude when Marcel finds the dressing and other item still in the refrigerator. With only a few minutes to go before leaving the restaurant, did they show any interest in helping to correct their oversight and double check to see if anything else was left behind? No.

    In addition to Sam claiming credit for the dish, he and Mike also claimed that Marcel was disorganized and didn’t keep them informed of the big picture. But we know this is untrue. Bravo’s bonus video shows Marcel talking about the lists and diagrams, including how he wanted everything plated (w/diagrams) that he was giving to Mike and Sam to refer to during the rushing around during the hour they were cooking on the final day. I’m sure Marcel spent a lot of time going over the plan with them in person, as well, before that.

    So, in my opinion, Sam is one of the worst of the group, but for many people, he came out smelling like a rose and considered to be the unnamed ‘Top Chef.’ His behavior was far from admirable but not not all viewers caught the nuances of his actions or took the time to read and watch available information to supplement the first time they watched the episodes.

    Sam deserves for his behavior and actions on Top Chef to be exposed. That’s why I took the time to write this lengthy post.

  5. I’ve just watched the finale of Top Chef Season 2 last Wednesday December 12, 2007, so I guess my comment would not matter much to contribute to make some immediate investigations.

    Albeit, I was not able to watch all the episodes fully, but I really can see that Marcel seems to be the most professional compared to the others, especially Ilan. Maybe the cameramen may have witnessed things that were not aired on TV, but from what I’ve seen, I didn’t find Marcel that annoying. In fact, his dishes showed excellent presentations, that even the judges could not even deny praising him for his uniqueness.

    I just wondered why Ilan won. According from the final judging, he didn’t even excel the standard of a sous chef, not even have the uniqueness quality. Then why on earth did he ever win? I thought this is not about personality contest? In fact, even speaking of personality, I believe it is Marcel that does have good personality, who doesn’t bash just in order to win. Again, maybe the cameramen knows more.

    My plea to the judges, please try to see for yourselves to investigate further.

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