It’s looking very promising for native El Pasoan Gabriel "Gabe" Erales on the current season of the Bravo Reality TV show Top Chef: Portland.

With only one more episode before a new Top Chef is crowned on the Season 18 finale, Gabe is still in the running for the coveted title and the six-figure prize money that comes with it. Erales, who grew up in El Paso and now lives in Austin, has managed to survive the famously tough cooking competition to emerge as one of only three remaining “cheftestants.”

In the dozen episodes that have aired, Gabe has won three Elimination Challenges and has had one of the top entries in three others, but did not win. His dish has only been selected as one of the bottom entries twice, although they were still good enough to not cause his elimination.

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By all accounts he seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time and many of the Top Chef fan sites on the internet believe he has a good chance of winning it all. Along with the title of Top Chef, the last chef standing gets $250,000 and a feature in "FOOD & WINE" magazine.


Raised in El Paso, Gabe began working in the restaurant business at age 15. After graduating from Eastwood High School, he moved to Austin to attend college at the University of Texas where he got a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

It was during this time, according to Bravo, Gabe realized his true calling was in the kitchen and put himself through culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu Austin.

Still living in Austin, Erales plans to open his first restaurant described as “a Mexican-inspired eatery that will draw influence from various regions of the Yucatan Peninsula” in the fall of 2022.

Times El Paso Was an Answer or Clue on Jeopardy! – 2010 to Present

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