The whole kerfuffle between Top Cheffer Ilan Hall and nightlife impresario and restaurateur J.E. Englebert is a tad curious. For those of you just joining us, both The Feed and Grub Street ran posts linking Hall to Englebert's new MePa project, ¡pasé! (both without a comment or confirmation from Team Hall mind you) back in July. Today, Englebert is in Page Six publicly and furiously deriding the chef for flaking out on the project:
"'I will rip his head off for screwing me!' fumed Englebert...'Hall and I exchanged numerous e-mails and traded phone calls. He agreed to be the executive chef for which he would get a weekly salary and points in the place in return for a nominal investment...' But Englebert says Hall, a native of Great Neck, LI, was a no-show this past week for an all-important meeting with his partners."
It's strange that Englebert would be so public in his admonition of the chef, but what's more curious is that Hall tells the Post that he never cooked for nor spoke to Englebert and only casually agreed to help consult via a MySpace chat. That about lines up with the intel we've been getting over the last few months both from Hall—who emailed us right after Grub Street's first item to say he had nothing to do with the project— and from sources close to him, who have told us the Top Cheffer has been busy scouting a space in the "up and coming" downtown LA neighborhood for his new restaurant. As a bonus to the public fighting in the Page Six item, we get details on Hall's first real restaurant, finally coming to fruition almost two years after he won the competition: It will be called The Gorbles, serving "old Jewish food, date-raped by bacon." This guy never disappoints.
· Heated Words in the Kitchen [NYP]
· Ilan Hall to Be Chef at Spanish Meatpacking-District Venture? [GS]
· Not so fast: Ilan not a sure thing at ¡pasé! [TONY]