HOMETOWN: El Paso, TX
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: Austin, TX
Chef Gabe Erales was born and raised in the culturally rich border town of El Paso, TX. 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 where he graduated with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. During this time, Gabe realized his true calling remained in the kitchen and concurrently completed culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu Austin. As the soul of his cooking lies in Mexican cuisine, he spent time working for some of Austin's most notable Chefs such as the late Miguel Ravago at The Fonda San Miguel, Rene Ortiz at La Condesa and Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due. He also draws inspiration from his experience in the kitchen at Noma in both Copenhagen and Mexico. Gabe’s cooking philosophy strives to focus on locality through strength in relationships with local farmers including sourcing unique varieties of landrace corn, chiles and other ingredients from different regions of Mexico. Most recently, he served as Executive Chef of Comedor Restaurant, a Mexican restaurant in the heart of downtown Austin, TX, that was voted Best New Restaurant by Esquire Magazine (2019), Austin Monthly (2019), and Texas Monthly (2020). Married with four children, he is currently working on a new Mexican-inspired restaurant concept, called Bacalar, opening in the Rainey Street District of Austin in Fall 2022. Erales recently launched his scholarship program, Niños de Maíz, with The Culinary Institute of America. He is currently a contestant on Season 18 of Bravo’s Top Chef. To learn more about Chef Erales and his accolades, visit gabeerales.com.