Bravo's Top Chef is undeniably the biggest food reality cooking show in America today. So how's it working out for stars of the show who aren't on Life After Top Chef? To find out, we tracked down some of the show's biggest stars at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Chefs from seasons past, including everyone from Harold Dieterle to Ed Lee, weigh in on what's next for them, whether life's really changed since Top Chef, and what advice they have for chefs on the upcoming Top Chef: Seattle.
In case you missed it, last night Paul Qui took home the title on season nine of Top Chef. The executive chef of Uchiko and East Side King in Austin, TX, who won eight of the 16 elimination challenges on Top Chef Texas, beat out fellow finalist Sarah Grueneberg by coming out on top in an elimination challenge with a clam dashi broth and coconut-Thai chile ice cream.
Besides holding the champion title and being $125,000 richer, Qui now faces a higher public profile than he's ever held before. Whether you watch the show or now, there's no doubt you'll be seeing much more of him — so here are a few things you should know about the newly crowned Top Chef.
- He's a James Beard Award semifinalist. Qui's been nominated as a semifinalist for the Best Chef: Southwest award and will find out if he's a finalist come March 19. Qui was named a semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef award category last year but didn't make it to the finalist round. Perhaps this year's TV win will give him the extra edge?
- He hopes to expand his culinary presence. Qui has expressed interest in opening an eatery in New York someday.
For more on Qui, keep reading.