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Central Texas chef to compete on Season 18 of Bravo’s Top Chef, set in Portland

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INSTAGRAM / G_ERALES
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Guess we’ll be watching the show this year.

“Reality”-peddling network Bravo TV has released the first trailer of this year’s Top Chef season, and Texas has an impressive presence. Of the 15 competing chefs, three hail from the Lone Star State, including one from the little hipster paradise just up Interstate 35.

Austin-area chef Gabe Erales earned accolades from Esquire and Texas Monthly for his work with Mexican-inspired restaurant Comedor before parting ways with the spot in December of last year.

The reason for the split? According to an email to Eater Austin from the restaurant’s chef and partner Philip Speer, Erales walked away following ”repeated violations of [Comedor’s] policies and ... behavior in conflict with our values.”

Juicy. Sounds ready-made for reality TV.

Top Chef pits chefs against each other in a variety of challenges, as host Padma Lakshmi, head  judge and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and food writer Gail Simmons, along with guest judges, eliminate one chef from the running each week.

Season 18 of the reality show will feature Portland, Oregon-centric challenges, including one that celebrates the city’s Pan-African cuisine and a surf-and-turf elimination challenge honoring the  Confederated Tribes of the Umatila  Indian Reservation.

The new season will debut Thursday, April 1, at 7 p.m.

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