Houston Olympian Dawn Burrell qualifies for ‘Top Chef’ season finale

Dawn Burrell on Season 18 of Bravo's "Top Chef" ( , David Moir/Bravo)

HOUSTON – Houstonian and 2000 Olympian Dawn Burrell has earned her way to the season finale of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Burrell has been a strong contestant in Season 18 of the show featuring some of the top chefs from around the country. A partner/executive chef of Lucille’s Hospitality Group and the soon-to-come restaurant Late August, Burrell’s background extends past the culinary world.

Burrell competed in the long jump at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She was a four-time USA Indoor champion at the long jump and was also the World Indoor long jump gold medalist in 2001. And if her last name sounds familiar, her older brother is Leroy Burrell -- a former Olympic gold medalist and current track and field head coach at the University of Houston.

In Thursday’s episode, with three chefs remaining, Burrell had a shellfish cooking challenge going against the other two chefs remaining, Shota Nakajima and Gabe Erales. Nakajima won the challenge, leaving either Burrell or Erales to be cut with the finale looming. However, as the judges raved about all three chefs, it was determined that none of the three chefs would be cut and that all three would be a part of the “Top Chef” season finale.

The finale will be next Thursday, July 1, with the chefs vying for a $250,000 prize.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!