The Truth About Byron Gomez From Top Chef Season 18

The popular TV show Top Chef is back for its 18th season. According to an article by The Oregonian, this time around, the show will focus on Portland, Oregon. As highlighted by the piece, the pandemic has been particularly damaging to the hospitality industry, and the show's return offers a much-needed respite during these unprecedented times as viewers search for ways to distract themselves and stay entertained at home.

This time around, the show is set to feature diverse participants who'll take each other on to prove their mettle. One of the contestants vying for the top prize is Chef Bryon Gomez from Aspen, Colorado. According to Bravo, he was born in Costa Rica, and his family decided to the move to the U.S. when he was very young. Gomez grew up in New York. One quick look at the chef's past work experience is enough to get a sense of his impressive background.

Byron Gomez's past experience is impressive

As highlighted by Bravo, Byron Gomez currently works as a chef at 7908, one of the most renowned supper clubs in Aspen. Additionally, Gomez has no formal training yet has advanced his culinary skills by working with experienced and talented chefs such as Ronny Emborg, Daniel Humm, and Gavin Kaysen. He has also worked with the Eleven Madison Park group to cook at their events, particularly their pop-up initiatives in the Hamptons and Aspen. 

According to the Aspen Daily News, Gomez had a tough time growing up. As a child of immigrants, he had to figure out a way to teach himself the art of cooking and rely on his skills. He said, "I knew I would never be able to go culinary school; I knew I would never be able to go to college. But I think cooking gave me that freedom where everything and everyone around me kept saying, 'No, you can't do this because of your status.' But cooking never said that to me, metaphorically speaking." The chef rose to the challenge and worked at fast food chains like Burger King, throwing himself into his work before being chosen to work at Michelin-starred eateries.

Byron Gomez is a fighter, and he used the pandemic to think about his next steps, deciding to give Top Chef a shot. He was selected for the show thanks to his impressive background and relentless optimism.