Chef Gabe Erales has found himself in hot water since being crowned the winner of Top Chef earlier this month.
After being accused of sexual harassment, Erales is now telling his side of the story. In a July 23 Instagram post, he confessed that he was fired from his restaurant job in Austin, Texas, after having an extramarital affair.
“Unbeknownst to my wife, I had a consensual relationship with a co-worker and later reduced her work hours, which in combination was a poor judgement call and led to my termination after I filmed Top Chef,” he wrote.
Erales went on, “I was suddenly at the lowest point in my life – potentially losing my family while I had already lost my job. I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the impact that my poor decisions had on those involved. My personal growth will be a perpetual apology in seeking forgiveness.”
After the finale aired on July 1, viewers discovered that Erales had been fired as an executive chef of the Texas restaurant Comedor in December 2020, which was two months after he finished filming Top Chef, according to Eater Austin. He was let go due to “repeated violations of our policies and for behavior in conflict with our values,” restaurant partner Philip Speer said in an email to the outlet.