Paul Qui Named Chef of the Year!

The Top Chef album is honored in Esquire's annual food awards.

Paul Qui can't be stopped. After winning season 9 of Top Chef, the accolades just keep rolling in for the Austin-based chef.

The latest? Esquire has named him Chef of the Year on their The Best New Restaurants In America list for 2014.

So how did he rise to the top of the heap? "But a chef is more than a cook—he's a leader," the editors of Esquire write. "And one of the things that makes Qui exceptional is that unlike most great chefs—especially young ones—he's doesn't bully his staff or feed off his own ego. Instead he creates a space in which his cooks can excel, working in quiet synchronicity." Presently, Paul is based in Austin. If you haven't sampled his restaurant, Qui, go now!

Paul isn't the only former Top Chef the magazine is recognizing. Kevin Gillespie's Atlanta-based restaurant Gunshow also nabbed a spot the list.

Joining him are Paul Kahan for his Nico Osteria in Chicago, April Bloomfield for her Tosca Cafe in San Francisco and Ed Lee even made the list as a runner-up for his restaurant Milkwood in Louisville, KY.

Of course before they were top chefs in America, they all appeared on Top Chef. The new season, based in Boston, kicks off tonight.

Judge Gail Simmons recently opened up about taking the show to New England. "Almost everyone in the city of Boston, I think, was really happy to have [Top Chef] there, and we were really excited to give the show a new look and feel," she told the Boston Globe about the show's 12th season. "We went from New Orleans last year, where everything was Cajun and super-Southern, to New England, which couldn't be more different. It just gave us a whole new set of ingredients to work with. We had a lot of fun there."

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[Sources: Esquire]

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