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Ilan Wins! Robuchon Coming to Chicago?

By Laura Oppenheimer in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 1, 2007 4:00PM

2007_2_topchef.jpgThere is no reason to beat around the bush: Ilan kicked the foie gras out of Marcel in last night's "Top Chef" finale. Ilan, who works in Mario Batali's Spanish outpost Casa Mono had help from former contenders Elia and Betty, while Marcel, who works with Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas, worked with Sam and Mikey (the "manimal").

We thought the outcome was fair; Marcel seemed to dig his own grave with a weak salad and his reliance on molecular gastronomy techniques. While Ilan's insistence on cooking Spanish was somewhat disappointing — we would have like him to step outside of his comfort zone a bit more — the food looked delicious, particularly his moi on macadamia gazpacho and the fruit and sorbet dessert. If you want to hear more about the finale, CHOW has podcast interviews with both Ilan and Marcel.

This may not be the last we hear from Marcel though. Celebrity chef Joel Rebuchon (he of the "Mansion" where Marcel works) is planning on opening a restaurant in Chicago in 2008. As much as we like to brag it up in Chicago about our hometown celebrity chefs, Robuchon is the real deal. He was named "Chef of the Century" by Gault Millau, an extremely well-respected French restaurant guide. No word yet on when the restaurant will open, what it will be called or where it will be located.

Image via Bravotv.