Food & Beverage will no longer be bringing a “Top Chef”
Austin restaurateur to the Denver area due to the backlash of his
assault charges in Texas.
recently said Paul Qui would open his East Side King restaurant in
May, filling the void in the food hall. However, Avanti
representatives backtracked shortly afterward saying the gravity of
the charges (though dropped) was something they underestimated and
wanted to promote a welcoming environment for everybody.
was arrested in 2016 for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend,
but those charges were dropped in April when she decided not to
testify in open court.
company said they wanted to ensure actions spoke louder than words,
cutting ties with East Side King and Aqui Hospitality. They said the
community was their priority and would continue to support the
culinary scene in Denver, which includes ambitious restaurateurs.
Hospitality Group/East Side King said it was disappointed by the
decision, saying throughout the entire process the group was helpful
and working in good faith for the common goal. They still support the
open-minded and diverse Denver community and hope they’ll be able
to come to the area soon.
O’Neill, Avanti co-owner, said he and the rest of the team believe
East Side King would be a great addition to the area. He said they
looked into the criminal matter and saw that the charges were
the dropped announcement, Qui said Avanti was his first step in
bringing his restaurant to the Denver area. He said he was hoping
Denver customers would give him a chance to cook for them.
the 2016 charges, Qui opened and closed numerous restaurants, hidden
with some type of controversy. For example, he opened a restaurant in
Houston, was reviewed by the Houston Chronicle, given four stars but
15 months later, he closed it up.
2017, he opened an Austin restaurant called Kuneho, and it was
reviewed by the Austin Chronicle who asked if it was the chef’s
redemption. The Internet acted quickly and harshly, which led to the
restaurant closing not much longer afterward.
the same time the court battle was coming to a close, his Dallas
Tacqui opened, only to close six months later.
to Qui, the last three years have been a wake-up call to get his crap
back together, and he was hoping he could do that.
rose to fame status when he won Season 9 of Top Chef in 2012 and was
awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2012. He was
at the Uchiko restaurant at that time.
2009, he, along with partner Moto Utsunomiya, opened East Side King
in Austin, making a wide array of dishes including the Poor Qui’s
pork belly buns and Thai chicken karrage.
Qui said he hopes people will give him the chance to move forward and cook for them, as this is who he is.