An El Paso native is going to be in the national spotlight when the Bravo show Top Chef returns this spring.

Gabriel Erales, who was born and raised in El Paso but now lives in Austin, will be among the “15 new cheftestants vying for the coveted title of Top Chef” when Season 18 of the popular reality competition television series premieres April 1.

Heavily influenced by his family's Mexican culture, Gabe formed an early appreciation for the food his parents prepared which ignited his passion for cooking. Gabe began working in kitchens at the age of 15 before moving to Austin, TX, to attend college at the University of Texas. – Bravo TV Bio

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The Eastwood High School graduate most recently served as Executive Chef of Comedor Restaurant, a Mexican restaurant in Austin that was voted Best New Restaurant by Esquire Magazine (2019), Austin Monthly (2019), and Texas Monthly (2020), according to Bravo.

Gabe is pretty hyped about being on the show, writing on his Instagram, “Excited and honored to share the news that I will be competing alongside some incredibly talented friends and Chefs.”

From what I’ve read, the chefs weren’t the only ones facing challenges. The show itself, which was filmed in September and October in Portland, Oregon, had to navigate through protests, wildfires, and COVID-19 to get season 18 in the can.

Along with the title of Top Chef, the winning chef gets $250,000, and a feature in "FOOD & WINE" magazine. Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and judge Gail Simmons will all be back to help determine who that will be

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