An Andrew Harper staff member spoke with chef Paul Qui in the convivial Kim Crawford Wines tent at March's Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. Qui's fiancée Deana Saukam, the immensely talented and stylishly polished Media and Events Director of Qui restaurant, also joined in on the conversation about cultural influences, Austin and, of course, travel.
Some may have become originally acquainted with Qui after his impressive and endearing victory of Bravo's ninth season of Top Chef in 2012. Yet it is his deep understanding of balance, restraint and flavor that keeps the chef on the forefront of American dining. After seven years working with Tyson Cole at the much-lauded Uchi and Uchiko restaurants – while opening his East Side King food trucks on the side – Qui launched his first restaurant Qui in Austin’s rapidly evolving east side. The restaurant received GQ's "Best New Restaurant in America, 2014" in its inaugural year, and Qui was named one of FOOD & WINE's "2014 Best New Chefs" on April 1. As Andrew Zimmern noted in an interview with Andrew Harper, “There is going to be a chef who cooks at a higher level than others […] and that is going to reshape the destiny of how Americans look at that food for the next 20 years. And that is [Paul].” Undoubtedly, this is just the beginning of the praise we will hear for Paul Qui.