Before coming to Austin, Chan studied at the San Diego Culinary Institue and then worked in New York’s Japanese restaurant Nobu Fifty Seven and Italian restaurant Barbuto. Then she became the executive chef for Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant brand Kitchen & Table brand in the Scandinavian region. She moved to the Texas city in 2018 where she began working at Eberly, first as the chef de cuisine and now as the executive chef. Her Top Chef bio notes that she is looking to open “a new project” that would focus on casual Italian food.
This Houston season follows the controversial 18th season, where Austin chef Gabe Erales, whose presence on the Portland season was questioned. Before the lineup was announced but after the season was filmed, he was fired from his then-position as the executive chef of Austin Mexican restaurant Comedor. When Erales was named the winner of the season in July 2021, the chef admitted that he was fired for cutting down the hours of someone he had had a “consensual sexual relationship” with after the relationship ended and had continued to “communicat[e] with her in an unprofessional manner,” as he told Statesman.
Television network Bravo and production company Magical Elves announced that the competition series would film in Houston last fall without any mention of Erales’s win. Winners are supposed to receive $250,000, get an article feature in Food & Wine and cook at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Erales didn’t participate in Aspen food festival when it happened in September 2021, nor did that magazine feature happen.
The new season also features a Houston contender, Evelyn Garcia, the owner of Southeast Asian catering and retail line Kin. Challenges will include making barbecue, biscuits, queso, fajitas, and Nigerian fare, as well as cooking at an Asian night market.
- Latest Season of ‘Top Chef’ Set to Premiere March 3 — and it’s About to Get Very Houston [EHTX]
- Bravo’s Top Chef Returns This March for a “Beautiful, Interesting” Season 19: Get Your First Look at the New Cheftestants [Bravo]
- Jo Chan [Bravo]
- Austin Restaurant Comedor Parts Ways With Executive Chef Over ‘Repeated Violations of Policies’ [EATX]
- All Coverage of Eberly [EATX]