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Executive chef Gabe Erales out at highly regarded Comedor

Matthew Odam
Austin 360
Comedor has parted ways with executive chef Gabe Erales.

One of the city's best restaurants is going through some changes at the top. Modern fine dining restaurant Comedor has severed ties with its executive chef Gabe Erales. 

Erales helped guide the downtown restaurant operated by partners William Ball and chef Philip Speer to a spot among the elite restaurants in Austin, with the dazzling modern Mexican restaurant landing in the Top 10 of last year's Austin360 Dining Guide. Esquire magazine also included Comedor in its list of Best Nest New Restaurants in the country last year. 

Erales's menu has drawn praise for its thoughtful flavor building, like a double cut pork chop with manchamanteles mole and a halibut dish enlivened with complex mole verde, as well as its elegant plating, as seen in a scallop crudo with tepache broth. 

Speer said that Erales was let go "due to violation of our policies and for behavior in conflict with our values," and added that the restaurant will begin a nationwide search for Erales' replacement in the New Year.

Speer will lead the Comedor team's collaborative effort in the wake of Erales's departure. 

"We thrive in sharing of passion and hard work. We are going to continue to grow with our current team and all of what they bring to the table," Speer told the Statesman. "As we begin our search for a new chef, we will seek a chef with similar passions for food, culture, and traditions in Mexican techniques rooted in soul and community."

Erales, an El Paso native who has previously worked at Dai Due Taqueria, La Condesa and Fonda San Miguel, was not immediately available for comment regarding his departure or future plans. 

Comedor is currently open for limited dine-in and takeout service with online ordering and has expanded its happy hour menu or tacos, tortas and more. 

This is a developing story. 

This story has been updated to clarify the reason behind Erales's departure.

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