Gabe Erales
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin
Le Cordon Bleu
OccupationExecutive Chef
TelevisionTop Chef: Portland

Felix Gabriel "Gabe" Erales[1] is an American chef specializing in modern Mexican cuisine based in Austin, Texas. In 2021, Erales won the eighteenth season of Top Chef, becoming the series' first Latino winner.[2]


Erales has a BA and MA in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Oklahoma. He graduated from Austin’s Le Cordon Bleu.[3]


Erales began working in restaurants at the age of 15 in El Paso, Texas and continued to do so throughout high school and college at University of Texas at Austin.[4][5][6] After graduating from college, he worked as an engineer in the automotive and semiconductor industry but soon after shifted his focus to his culinary talents.[5]

Erales went on to work in some of Austin's most notable restaurants (Fonda San Miguel, La Condesa, Qui, Odd Duck, Dai Due). After staging at Noma in Copenhagen, he went on to work for Noma during their Mexico pop-up in Tulum, Quintana Roo.[7][8][9]

In 2006, Erales opened Dai Due Taqueria with Jesse Griffiths as the executive chef.[10] The restaurant – focusing on tacos using wild game and fish – was located in Austin’s First Food Hall Fareground on Congress Avenue.[11] He then opened the award winning Comedor restaurant, where he made famous the "bone marrow tacos".[12][13]

In 2021, Erales competed in Top Chef: Portland, winning the season and its $250,000 grand prize.[2] After shooting for Top Chef: Portland had ended,[14] Erales was fired from his position as executive chef at Comedor due to violations of the restaurant's ethics policies.[15][16][17] Erales has since issued an apology for his misconduct, which includes sexual harassment.[18]

He is currently in the process of building a new restaurant called Bacalar Restaurant that is scheduled to open in 2023.[19][20]


Erales was featured in Tribeza’s Magnificent 7 in 2019.[21] While working at Comedor (from April 2019 to December 2020) the restaurant was featured on Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants in America, 2019’[22] and Best Restaurant in Texas by Texas Monthly and Top 10 Best Restaurants in Austin 360 Eats.[23] He was crowned the “Prince of Pork” two years in a row after winning the 2018 and 2019 Cochon555 Culinary Competition in Austin.[24]

Erales also created a Culinary Scholarship fund called Niños De Maíz.[2]

Personal life

Gabe's parents are from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico. He has 6 siblings and is married with four children.[10]


  1. ^ "𝙶𝙰𝙱𝚁𝙸𝙴𝙻 𝙴𝚁𝙰𝙻𝙴𝚂 on Instagram". Instagram. 2022-05-19. Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  2. ^ a b c "'Top Chef' Season 18 Finale: And the Winner Is...TheWrap". 2 July 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-23.
  3. ^ "Niños de Maíz - Gabe Erales - Culinary Institute of America Scholarships". Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  4. ^ "Gabe Erales". Bravo TV Official Site. 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  5. ^ a b "Gabe Erales". Austin Under 40 Awards Gala. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  6. ^ "Gabe Erales". Tribeza. 2019-11-30. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  7. ^ Odam, Matthew. "Former Comedor chef Gabe Erales of Austin competing on new season of 'Top Chef'". austin360. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  8. ^ Russell, Erin (2021-02-09). "Former Comedor Executive Chef Will Appear on 'Top Chef'". Eater Austin. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  9. ^ "These are the 9 rising stars of Austin's restaurant scene right now". CultureMap Austin. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  10. ^ a b Karydes, Megy. "Chef Gabe Erales Dishes On His Mother's Influence And How He Feeds Picky Eaters". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  11. ^ Chaudhury, Nadia (2017-04-25). "Austin's First Food Hall Fareground Announces An All-Star Lineup". Eater Austin. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  12. ^ "Bone Marrow Tacos with Gabe Erales and Philip Speer". Austin Monthly Magazine. 17 April 1000. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  13. ^ Chaudhury, Nadia (2019-04-17). "Philip Speer's Stunning New Modern Mexican Restaurant Is Now Open". Eater Austin. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  14. ^ "Padma Lakshmi calls for investigation following 'Top Chef' winner's past harassment allegations". Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  15. ^ "Austin Restaurant Comedor Parts Ways With Executive Chef Over 'Repeated Violations of Policies". Eater Austin. 16 December 2020. Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  16. ^ "Shakeup at Comedor After High-Profile Chef Out". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  17. ^ Matt Wilstein (March 3, 2022). "Tom Colicchio Talks 'Top Chef' Houston and Harassment Allegations Against Winner Gabe Erales". The Daily Beast.
  18. ^ "'Top Chef' winner Gabe Erales apologizes in wake of sexual misconduct allegations". Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  19. ^ "Bacalar | comida milpera". Urbanspace. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  20. ^ "Austin's Top Chef competitor to open Mexican eatery in trendy downtown district". CultureMap Austin. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  21. ^ "Meet 7 Incredible People Who Helped Define 2019". Tribeza. 2019-11-30. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  22. ^ Gordinier, Jeff (2019-11-13). "Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America, 2019". Esquire. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  23. ^ "Best Restaurants in Austin". Austin 360 Eats. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  24. ^ "Gabe Erales". Austin Under 40 Awards Gala. Retrieved 2021-09-29.