Silver-tongued smooth operator and newly queened, er, crowned Top Chef Ilan Hall, winks and clicks his tongue at Entertainment Weekly as he gives them the skinny on being a former fatboy, exposes his "girlfriend"'s eating habits, and demonstrates a surprising amount of adjectival self-awareness. As always, the cherce bits:
Did you think you guys were portrayed accurately?
Yeah, absolutely. You can show a limited amount of things from so much footage, but I think our personalities came through.
Have you been getting more hate from fans, or more love?
I'm getting a lot of love. I'm getting a lot of hate on the Internet, but to my face, everybody's been really nice to me.
So you're keeping up with things on the Internet, then?
I mean, people send me things. My friends send me things here and there. What can you do?
Do you cook for your girlfriend?
Yeah, I do.
Does she do any cooking?
No, not really. She just eats a lot.
How did she feel about having a third of the restaurant that you, Mikey, and Sam created for that elimination challenge named after her?
She was very honored, and then upset with me when she found out that it failed.
[Miss XaXa's reaction: "Nice try, honey. I'll look for the 'topchef' screen name in the Water Sports chat room on Gay.com."]
Have you always been so skinny?
No. That's a funny question. No, actually. Toward the end of elementary school and through junior high school, I was quite heavy.
Have you ever done anything risqué while on the line, Kitchen Confidential-style?
[Laughs] I'm not gonna tell you that...
Okay then, a few quick-fire questions for you: Favorite protein?
I don't know — these are hard! Honey crisp apples?
[Stop, E.W. You're killing us. We need to get our eyes checked, as when we first read the answer to his favorite protein, we saw the word "Pompadour fish," and immediately thought of Marcel. As for his favorite fruit, before we could say anything, Miss XaXa broke in soothingly, "Let it go, baby, let it go. It's too easy, even for you."]
Describe your style of cooking in five words.
Simple. Salty. Clean. A little greasy. Is that five words?
[Well, other than clean, we think the self-portrait hits the nail right on the head. "Oh, I think he's clean," said Miss XaXa, "since Marcel said he used to spend forever in the bathroom."]