I went out for dinner and drinks with Ilan and Ted Allen the other evening after the TC3 casting call here in NY and I think he realizes now how negatively the public has responded to his televised attitude. The title of Top Chef comes with the responsibility of behaving like one. Ilan is a wonderful person and very talented in the kitchen. His cooking style is a combination of inventiveness with classic technique and big, bold flavors. He is taking some time off to travel and hopefully stage at some restaurants around the world and I wish him the very best. He has cooked for me in the past at Casa Mono, before I knew him through Top Chef, and I eagerly await to find out where he settles down next so I can sample his food again.
Hawaii is truly one of the most amazing places I have had the privelege of visiting. I had a great time on the Big Island and want to send a special thanks to Michael Ni and company, Matthew Loke, Leanne Pletcher, Jeff, Sarah, and all of the other individuals who helped make our production seamless.
I got the chance to hop over to Oahu afterwards for a few days and was equally blissful with all I that I got to experience, including visiting some family who live there. The physical beauty of the islands, the people, history, culture, and food all come together to embody the spirit of aloha and I look forward to the next time I get to watch a rainbow sunset over the Pacific Ocean. We're already getting ready for Season 3, so keep watching and don't forget the bacon! xoxo- Lee Anne