Austin ‘Top Chef’ winner Paul Qui arrested, accused of assaulting girlfriend

Paul Qui (APD)
Paul Qui (APD)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin chef and restaurateur Paul Qui was arrested Saturday morning accused of assaulting his girlfriend, according to an arrest affidavit.

Police responded to Qui’s apartment in East Austin just before 8 a.m. after receiving a call from Qui’s friend who said “his friend and his girlfriend were fighting” in the apartment. When officers arrived, they heard screaming and yelling coming from the apartment before the door was opened, continued in the court documents

When Qui, 31, opened the door, officers noted he had “blood all over his face, arms, legs and clothing.” Officers noticed the woman inside the apartment was crying and clutching a small child, according to the affidavit. Officers reported the apartment was in disarray with furniture and glass broken—blood was also found smeared on the walls and the floor of the apartment, according to the affidavit.

The victim told police “Qui is very controlling and extremely jealous.” The victim said she had been asleep with her son when Qui and his friends came home and began partaking in drugs and alcohol before waking her up and asking her to join the partying. The victim said she agreed and joined the party, having a couple of drinks before she said an intoxicated Qui began accusing his friends of flirting with her before kicking them all out, continued in the affidavit.

The victim then stated Qui became enraged and began knocking over furniture and breaking glass. She then grabbed some of her things and tried to leave with her son, but said Qui “stood in front of the door” and blocked her exit and “forcibly pushed her and her son away.”

According to the arrest affidavit, Qui then picked the victim up and began throwing her against the walls and doors while telling her she wasn’t going to leave. Qui admitted “to not allowing [the victim] to leave the apartment because he wanted the police to come and see all the damage in the apartment” and added that he “wanted to be able to tell his side of the story.” Qui stated his girlfriend did not assault him and that “he was only grabbing and holding her so she didn’t leave before police arrived,” continued in the affidavit.

Qui is charged with unlawful restraint, a Class A misdemeanor, as well as assault causing bodily injury to a family member, a Class A misdemeanor. He posted bond and was released later that day.

In 2012, Qui won Season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef. He currently owns and operates Qui restaurant on East Sixth Street.

A request sent to Qui’s media spokesperson has not been returned.

If you or someone you know becomes the victim of domestic violence you can call the National Domestic Violence hotline 1-800-799-7233 for help and resources. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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