Chef Ilan Hall Brings NYC Israeli Barbecue With Esh

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Top Chef Season 2 winner, Chef Ilan Hall, admits that he lost focus when it came to his restaurant The Gorbals, at which he was well-known for putting his own take on dishes like matzo balls wrapped in bacon.

Luckily, the part Scottish, part Jewish chef, whose heritage was well-represented on The Gorbals menu, has gotten his focus back and is setting his sights on a new concept.

The new New York City restaurant Esh — which means “fire” in Hebrew — takes its inspiration from the Israeli side of The Gorbals menu.

“A lot of the new dishes…have a lot of flavor profiles from Israel. They remind me of times of when I went to Israel when I was younger,” Hall told Foodable video correspondent Agnes Chung in this “On Foodable Side Dish.”

So, what exactly is Israeli barbecue? I can tell you what Hall’s version definitely isn’t: traditional.

“We’re not doing traditional barbecue on the Israeli side, we’re not doing traditional barbecue on the American side,” Hall explained. “We’re trying to take the best of both worlds and make it into something that’s delicious.”