Top Chef season 9 champ Paul Qui was arrested on Saturday, March 19, for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, the Austin Police Department in Texas confirmed to Us Weekly.
According to the arrest affidavit obtained by Us, police arrived at the James Beard Award–winning chef’s apartment in East Austin shortly before 8 a.m. and heard screaming coming from inside. After Qui opened the door, law enforcement noted that the restaurateur had “blood all over his face, arms, legs and clothing.”
The responding officer also noted that he saw “blood smeared on the walls and the floor throughout the apartment.”
Qui’s girlfriend of a year told police that the chef had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking Xanax and cocaine in their apartment with some friends, but that he had kicked them out after accusing them of flirting with her, according to the affidavit. The victim said she tried to leave with her young son, but that the chef allegedly blocked her path and “pushed her and her son away.” Qui then allegedly picked her up and threw her against walls and doors.
The officer noted that he “could see a fresh cut on her right forearm and bruising on her upper arms from Qui grabbing on her and throwing her around the apartment.” The policeman also noted that the right side of her jaw was “slightly puffy and swollen.”
The affidavit also said that Qui said that his girlfriend did not assault him.
Police arrested and charged the chef with unlawful restraint and assault causing bodily injury to a family member. He posted his bond and was released on Saturday.
The young chef won rave reviews after his Top Chef victory in 2011. Judge Tom Colicchio in 2014 called him “the most talented chef” to ever compete on the hit Bravo show. “We had to dumb down how good he was, because it would’ve been pretty obvious that he was running away with everything,” the restaurateur told Huffington Post. Qui was also named the Best Chef, Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.
Qui is the owner of the restaurant Qui in Austin. A note on the eatery’s website on Monday, March 21, stated that it was closed for the day.