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‘Knife Fight’ Star Ilan Hall Slams Traditional Cooking Shows, Declares He ‘Would Never’ Make Chefs Use Gross Ingredients

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Apr. 15 2014, Published 6:44 p.m. ET

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The mystery ingredients on Knife Fight may seem strange to the uniformed palate, but to the chefs who compete for the holy knife they are delectable products.

Ilan Hall of Top Chef fame is back for a second season on the Esquire Network reality show and he told in an exclusive interview that he made the choice not to have his contestants cooking with bizarre foods.

“I would never do that,” he said about asking the chefs to make something edible from terrible tasting food.

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Speaking to from his restaurant The Gorbals in downtown Los Angeles, Hall said: “That defeats the purpose of the show.  Which is to make great food.

“In the end of it I’m eating it so I don’t want to eat something made of strawberry milk powder and skittles.”

As two chefs battle in the underground, after hours culinary competition, Hall’s show, executive produced by Drew Barrymore, doesn’t try to showcase typical food.

Drew Barrymore

“It’s hard enough having a short period of time to cook and being in an unfamiliar kitchen.  That’s the challenge,” Hall told

"We have a combination of Michelin star owners, James Beard Award-winners, Food & Wine ‘Best New Chefs,’ and still the only prize is a shitty knife," Hall explained.

Check out Knife Fight on the Esquire Network Tuesdays at 9/8c.

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