Bravo’s “Top Chef” season 18 winner Gabe Erales has apologized to fans after finding out he was fired from his old restaurant for an affair with a coworker.
Erales made history when he won the cooking contest show earlier this month as the first Mexican-American winner since his debut in 2006. However, his triumph in the Wellness Season was marred by controversy after it emerged that he had been fired from his chief post in Austin, Texas. Comedor restaurant for inappropriate behavior.
After remaining silent for weeks, Erales took to Instagram on Friday to let his fans know he was sorry and take responsibility for his mistakes.
“The past three weeks have been a difficult time for reflection and personal growth. I kept quiet not because I thought it was going to go away, but because I needed time with my family to begin the process. healing before making a public statement, ”he said. Explain.
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He further apologized for letting down his “family, friends, staff, supporters and my ‘Top Chef’ family”, as well as his wife who he says has supported his career from the start.
After filming the show, Erales cut back on the unnamed woman he was having an affair with, claiming in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman that it was due to performance issues at work. However, he was quickly fired from Comedor for reasons that media reports had to do with violations of “the institution’s policies and for behavior in conflict with our values.” Specifically, the outlet reports that Erales’s dismissal was linked to the facility’s policy regarding harassment of women.
In her apology, Erales noted that the relationship was “consensual”, although his wife was not aware of it. He also notes that the decision to reduce his hours in combination with their affair was “poor judgment and led to my dismissal”. However, he explained that the dismissal came after he had already filmed his winning run on “Top Chef”.
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The Statesman reports that Bravo was made aware of the situation during the broadcast of Season 18 of “Top Chef”. A source close to production told the outlet that an investigation into Erales’ conduct on set had been conducted and found no problematic behavior. As a result, the decision was made to continue airing the show despite the public issues the contestant faced upon returning from filming. The source claims the network believed that changing the season or removing it entirely in light of the situation wouldn’t be fair to other contestants who appeared on the show.
Representatives for “Top Chef” did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“I was suddenly at the bottom of my life – potentially losing my family when I had already lost my job. I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the impact my bad decisions have had on those involved. My growth. personal will be a perpetual excuse in seeking forgiveness, ”Erales said in her lengthy Instagram apology.
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He added: “I was suddenly at the bottom of my life – potentially losing my family when I had already lost my job. I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the impact my bad decisions have had on people. My personal growth will be a perpetual excuse in seeking forgiveness. ”
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According to Eater Austin, with the wind of “Top Chef” victory still behind his back, Erales still plans to open a new restaurant in downtown Austin called Bacalar in the fall of 2022, featuring Yucatan cuisine. .