Top Chef Paul Qui of Faena Hotel's heralded Pao arrested for alleged drug-fueled assault on girlfriend

Paul Qui, Top Chef winner and resident celeb chef at his Faena Hotel restaurant Pao, reviewed in the Miami Herald in February and awarded 3 stars, was arrested early Saturday at his Austin, Texas, home on charges of assaulting his girlfriend. 

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the affidavit states that girlfriend Stephanie Rodriguez said Qui was partying with friends the night before, “indulging in cocaine, Xanax, alcohol and marijuana,” and “became jealous and accused his friends of flirting with her.” 

The police report says that when cops arrived they found blood on the walls and floor and all over Qui, who admitted he was physical with Rodriguez but only to restrain her.   

The Top Chef season 9 winner was booked on two misdemeanors: assault causing bodily injury to a family member and unlawful restraint before being released on $20,000 bond.

Qui released a statement to Austin 360 that said: “On Saturday morning, I asked my friend to call the police to aid in an argument with my girlfriend that had escalated beyond my control. I was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors. I am innocent of the charges of assault. This situation made me realize that I need to take more time for my health and myself. I will be checking myself into a treatment facility in the coming days and I am appreciative of the support of my family, friends and partners. Thank you for respecting my privacy.”

A spokesperson for Faena Hotel says all is hunky dory, telling us, “It is business as usual at Pao. The restaurant is helmed by a super talented team, remains incredibly popular and continues to deliver an exceptional dining experience at Faena Hotel Miami Beach .”

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