Viewers of “Top Chef” recently watched Gabe Erales crowned champion of the show’s 18th season.
Erales’ win, however, was made awkward due to a December 2020 report from the Austin Chronicle that detailed the chef’s firing from a Mexican eatery in Austin, Texas, due to alleged misconduct, with the restaurant’s owners issuing a statement to declare that Erales was “no longer with the restaurant due to repeated violation of our policies and for behaviour in conflict with our values.”
While Bravo, the U.S. cable network that airs “Top Chef”, has yet to issue a statement addressing the situation, host Padma Lakshmi is weighing in.
“As someone who has been sexually harassed, this topic is a serious one and merits openness,” Lakshmi wrote in a pair of tweets she issued on Thursday.
“We filmed ‘Top Chef’ in October of last year & were not aware of the allegations now coming out about Gabe. This should be investigated & the network should consider its best action,” she continued.
“To be clear, no one has alleged sexual harassment on the record or otherwise to Bravo/’Top Chef’ and we judges didn’t have any indication of inappropriate behaviour from Gabe during his time on set,” she added.
To be clear, no one has alleged sexual harassment on the record or otherwise to Bravo/Top Chef and we judges didn't have any indication of inappropriate behavior from Gabe during his time on set.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) July 2, 2021