Two Houston culinary pros compete on new season of ‘Top Chef’ – Houston Chronicle

Dawn Burrell, former executive chef of Kulture restaurant, will be among the 15 chef contestants on Season 18 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Photo: Marie D. De Jesús/Staff photographer

Two Houston chefs will be among the contestants on “Top Chef,” when Bravo’s popular competition reality show begins its 18th season on April 1.

Dawn Burrell, whose work at Kulture earned her a James Beard Award semifinalist nod, and Sasha Grumman, former executive chef at Rosalie Italian Soul, are among the 15 chefs on the new season of “Top Chef” that is set in Portland, Ore.

Burrell has had a busy year. During the pandemic she opened a meal preparation business called Pivot; and last week she announced her partnership with chef Chris Williams to create Lucille’s Hospitality Group which will open three new culinary and lifestyle projects in Houston.

Grumman moved to Houston to become executive chef of Rosalie Italian Soul, the Chris Cosentino restaurant that opened in October 2019 the C. Baldwin Hotel downtown. The restaurant has been closed since March 2020 when the pandemic began to disrupt the hospitality industry. She has since launched a focaccia business, the Fierce Chef Alimentari.

The new season of “Top Chef” will feature only one other Texas chef/contestant: Gabe Erales, an El Paso native who most recently was executive chef of Comedor in Austin.

Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Send him news tips at greg.morago@chron.com. Hear him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn about Houston and Texas barbecue culture.

  • Greg Morago
    Greg Morago

    Greg Morago was a features editor and reporter for The Hartford Courant for 25 years before joining the Houston Chronicle as food editor in 2009. He writes about food, restaurants, spirits, travel, fashion and beauty. He is a native Arizonan and member of the Pima tribe of the Gila River Indian Community.