How Padma Lakshmi Really Feels About The Allegations Against Top Chef Winner Gabe Erales

Chef Gabe Erales, who was recently named the winner of Season 18 of "Top Chef," is currently in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. As reported by Yahoo News, Erales was accused of harassing a female colleague at Comedor, a Mexican eatery in Austin, Texas, where he worked as executive chef in 2020. He was let go from the position in December 2020 due to the allegations against him. This incident took place after Erales resumed working at Comedor following his appearance on "Top Chef." 

The restaurant even issued a statement in an email explaining their decision to fire Erales. It read, "Effective immediately, Comedor Executive Chef Gabe Erales is no longer with the restaurant due to repeated violation of our policies and for behavior in conflict with our values," according to the Austin Chronicle. Meanwhile, Erales told the Austin American-Statesman that he had a consensual relationship with an employee and that he later decided to reduce the employee's hours after returning from filming the show. He stated the reason for cutting the employee's hours was that he wasn't pleased with her performance. 

These allegations against Erales have not gone unnoticed. "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi has expressed strong views on the topic. 

Padma Lakshmi is asking for an investigation

Padma Lakshmi took to Twitter to express her thoughts on the latest series of events. She wrote, "As someone who has been sexually harassed, this topic is a serious one and merits openness. 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."

Additionally, the host mentioned that nobody had approached her team so far with allegations against Gabe Erales and that the team didn't have any idea about his past behavior. As far as Erales is concerned, he told the Austin American-Statesman that he has spent time reflecting on his mistakes and trying to be better as a "husband, a father, a chef and a leader."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).