Fil-Am Paul Qui is Esquire’s Chef of the Year
MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino chef based in Austin, Texas was declared by Esquire as this year’s Chef of the Year.
In the magazine’s website, writer Josh Ozersky described Paul Qui as a “true sui generis talent, and none of his work – currently on display in his fantastic new restaurant, called Qui – is easily classified.”
He is familiar face to Top Chef viewers, and was the winner of season 9.
Paul also shared with Esquire readers a recipe for kinilaw (a kind of Filipino ceviche), which uses vinegar as a base to cook meat or fish.
In an interview with the Huffington Post Live, Tom Colicchio, head judge of Top Chef, previously said that Paul was one of the talented chefs they met.
“Paul Qui, who won that season, I think is the most talented chef that we've ever had on the show,” he said. "In fact, we had to dumb down how good he was, because it would've been pretty obvious that he was running away with everything."
Meanwhile, in another article on Austin Culture Map, Paul talked to 600 high school culinary students about making it in the industry, his failures and mistakes in the past.
“It is okay to fail because failing is part of learning. As long as you can get up and push forward, then it is okay,” he said.
“I always felt like a failure growing up,” Paul shared, “but being able to do something with my hands and do it really well, means a lot to me. Cooking has never felt like work for me. Even when I’m tired and have had no sleep, it always feels satisfying.”
Born in the Philippines, Paul moved with his family to the US when he was 10 years old. According to a report from GMA News, he said that his cooking really jumpstarted in Texas, when he was introduced to Tyson Cole, the owner of Japanese restaurant Uchi.
“My plan was to work for free since I was still in school… and get as much experience as I could and then leave the city and go to New York,” Paul told the website. “But I never got away because they kept on opening doors for me.”
He also worked at another restaurant, Uchiko, before joining Top Chef season 9, where he emerged as the winner.
Aside from his restaurant Qui, Paul also runs the East Side King, also in Austin, Texas. – Rappler.com