Burning Questions

The 'Top Chef: Texas' winner dishes on the finale and what he'll do with the prize money.

Feb 29, 20120


Bravotv.com: Did you do anything special while you were at home before the finale to prepare?  
Paul Qui: Not really, just got back into the groove of Uchiko.  Being on Top Chef, is just like being in a restaurant during a hectic service.  Never assume anything. 

Bravotv.com: Were there any sous-chefs that you had wish you’d gotten that you didn’t?
PQ: Not at all.  I loved my whole crew. 

Bravotv.com: It seemed a little dicey with Barbara Lynch at first — how were you able to turn it around?
PQ: I was intimidated at first to work with such an accomplished chef.  She's just a really cool person and we got along. 

Bravotv.com: Emeril made a point to bring up Restaurant Wars before you started cooking/serving. Did that have an impact on how you approached this challenge?  
PQ: Absolutely. I hate failing, but it's also the best time to learn.    

Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration behind each of your courses?
PQ: I wanted to orchestrate at meal that represented my style of cooking, using the freshest ingredients Vancouver has to offer.  So I stuck with a lot of seafood, eggs and fruit.

99 comments
GeorgeTheCook
GeorgeTheCook

Sarah, there's a think called karma, and it came back to bite you. You could learn some humility and dignity from Beverly. What a sore loser!

J. Civita
J. Civita

Paul....so deserving of this title. Congratulations. You performed with grace, respect for the food, and as humble as they come. Loved seeing you take it all!!!

Noob Chef
Noob Chef

It was so wonderful to see someone with such integrity, humility, creativity and ambition win this season. You always hope the great masters are humble and able to continue learning as they get better at their craft. And like others mentioned, the fact that Paul could take ownership of mistakes and not place blame on others really showed true leadership. Isn't that what Top Chef should be about? All the bullying, cattiness, and petty behavior was such a turnoff all season. I'm glad the ending was a happy one!

Jules in WA State
Jules in WA State

Way to go Paul!! You deserved the win in more ways than one can count, but your food always spoke for you. Well done and have a wonderful life!!

julrus
julrus

I was pulling for Paul from the start. He is incredibly creative, talented, and professional (not to mention he has an amazing smile!). As the competition continued, my disgust at the behavior of "The Mean Girls" (Sarah, Heather, Lindsay, you know who you are) only solidified my respect for Paul more. There were many good chefs this season (Edward, Grayson, Nyesha, and even Beverly) but Paul truly is TOP CHEF. Congratulations to Paul and kudos to the judges for getting it right!

sfdf5
sfdf5

Don't take this the wrong way, but it seems the true winner of the final challenge was Sarah. Is the true winner not really based on the final challenge? Top Chef is frustrating to watch when it comes to the end. It seems Tom never picks a women to win and is very biased with who he picks ever season as if his mind is already made up before the final challenge. After watching this episode it seems the final challenge really didn't matter in the decision. If Top Chef was based on the actual final episode Sarah was the clear winner and came up huge when it mattered most. I don't understand how she didn't win, especially based off all the comments. What gives?

maria ramirez
maria ramirez

i know that paul was going to win from his 1st dish

Mike DoubleCheesebuger
Mike DoubleCheesebuger

I was a fan of Beverly, but also realized that she was probably a pain to work around. While I have no doubt she was edited poorly, Heather is really unlikeable and not very impressive as a Chef. Sarah was also edited poorly but definitely a superior chef and deserving of being in the finale. I think it was pretty clear from about the fifth show on that Paul was going to win. Aside from the stupid Amazing Race type gimmicks, it wasn't as bad of a season as people seem to think.

Eric
Eric

I'm so glad Paul won. All my friends and I have been rooting for Paul since the first episode, as we're Austonians and have been eating at his East Side Kings Trailers and at Uchiko for quite some time now. I already knew how talented he was going into the competition, but it was great to see how humble, helpful and professional he was during the entire ordeal. And although I was quite biased, his consistent wins throughout the season showed that he definitely deserved to be Top Chef.

FanFare57
FanFare57

I saw Sarah's final comments here. Whew. During her brief break, she didn't change. She was the same person at the bitter end as she was when she started (except for her Justin Bieber haircut). She alternated between being smiling, screaming and sniveling. Watching her lose it all was great entertainment. Listening to her be self congratulatory for being in the final was frustrating. Seeing her crocodile tears during her last interview was laughable. Buh-Byeee.

Leca
Leca

Congratulatios Paul, well deserved and a class act the entire season. Sarah, karma is a b.... it was so fun rooting against you and Heather.

Leca
Leca

Congratulations Paul. Well deserved and you were a class act thoughout the entire competition. Sarah Karma is a b.....it was fun rooting against you and Heather.

raineS
raineS

Congrats paul, an amazing job and the judges called it rightly. someone earlier said it was good heather lost a second time, well obviously they felt like i did, sarah and heather behaved very similiar. ladies, mean is downright unattractive. shame on you.

chicago Viewer
chicago Viewer

sarah acted like she always does... there is great relief from knowing sarah didn't win...and I'm not surprised that she was so happy to see heather...bullies always like each other...there's nothing to be jealous there they both have a lot of cheek to go around!!! the catch up... looks like the bullies are going to give us plenty to continue disliking them for...can't wait until it is finally over and we don't have to see sarah's mice teeth anymore..she's def a rat!!!!

Viewer1234
Viewer1234

So glad Paul won. Sara,Lindsay and Heather are awful and so happy to see pack up their knives. Sara needs to stop whining and stop ruining Paul's win.

Paul is biblical
Paul is biblical

All that matters, whatever the comments be, Paul WON. And he won them with just a mark of mistake on overcook eggs.

To those that said Sarah deserve to be in the finale...it's Top Chef...not Top Meals. It's a package of a good chef, and Paul has all that rightful package.

Herminia
Herminia

Chef Paul, when you decide to have your own restaurant, you should consider returning to the DC area.

Herminia
Herminia

You are the most deserving of the title of Top Chef with your poise, professionalism and talent. Congratulations! Hope you can showcase more Philippine cuisine: Morcon, Embutido, and please show people a true Kare-kare and also check on desserts like Brazo de Mercedes, Cake San Rival even Bicho-bicho (sweet rice beignet), which I believe is derived from "beso-beso"and my granddaughter's favorite, I had to make it in her Montessori school. Heck, we were eating Camaron Rebosado before a dish called Tempura came into being. After the Charlize episode I knew you would be the winner, but then I also was afraid something would trip you--like a prejudiced judge who doesn't like Asian food--and that concerned me. And Sarah did execute a wonderful menu--I can be objective--even if I didn't approve of her behavior. MABUHAY KA PAUL and yours too.

John J. J.
John J. J.

The right chef and person won -- Paul! Congrats.

Sara alienated Tyler and her mean spirit came out in her food.

Tams
Tams

I don't care who won as long as it wasn't that bully - Sarah!

Ralpho
Ralpho

Paul, are you like okay cooking food that is normal, too?

sudeme
sudeme

Two thumbs up for you.

ValM
ValM

Congratulations Paul! You were mine and my daughter's favorite weeks ago. Why? Your heart was in it first then your brain. You focused so much when you were preparing and executing - the love was obvious!

Sarah's last meal looked awesome but her heart was slightly stained. Beverly cooked from the heart too and should never have been treated the way she was treated.

I hate when people call us the "ugly Americans" but it's because of certain behavior (you know who you are) that warrants those comments.

Paul you are beautiful inside and out!

Brandon C
Brandon C

Congrats to Paul. I have to concur with all the commenters, you are an amazing chef and have a great humble personality.

I was wondering why I disliked Sarah so much, but the comments here reminded me, not only was she mean with her words, she was consistently selfish with her actions (coming back in time from the hospital and only caring about her own dish), and two-faced (talking behind people's back in a complete opposite way of what she says to their face). Now I'm sure there was some creative editing there that made her look worse than she really was, but let's just leave it with this: I'm happy she lost.

Two great Paul moments: 1. After one of the later challenges the few remaining survivors close in for a group hug in the kitchen. Paul is at the edge of the circle and in a half hug while bringing up his other arm and debating whether to go to a full hug. He decides against it, brings the arm down, and goes into the "back pat".

2. Before the final judgement they show Paul talking about Keith and the previously-crab dish. What does he say? "Keith is a great chef and I can't blame him because I'm the one that trained him [for this dish]". Shows you the kind of person Paul is, a true professional that takes responsibility for his actions and doesn't put other people down for his mistakes (yes that was a shot at you Lindsay, Heather, and to a lesser extent Sarah).

I will say that this season there were more than a few challenges that made you say "wow, are you really going to judge them on this, instead of keeping it focused on food?" but Paul's win kept it from becoming a total disaster.

kathy crane
kathy crane

It was so nice to see a gentleman and a scholar win. Your professionalism and maturity were a pleasure to watch. I live in Virginia, but it would be worth visiting Texas just to come to your restaurant. It's a shame Sarah, Lindsey and Heather didn't abide by the Golden Rule. Enjoy your win and everthing good that goes with it. God bless.

congrats
congrats

Paul! I wanted to watch the finale so bad, but I had an early day and so I set it (as always) to dvr. Well, I woke up and it wasn't there. My husband had changed the channel. Shame on him! So, I went to bravotv and there you were front and center! Just as you should be! You were an inspiration to watch. I love that you behaved like a well trained chef. You weren't out to belittle or be direspectful (ahem, Sarah and Heather). You were there to cook. I knew from the first episode that you were going to the end! BRAVO! I wish you nothing but simply amazing success. You deserve it!

ketcia
ketcia

Bravo Paul ! Congratulations from Paris, France. Yes, Some of us have been following Top Chef 9 and we are all glad you made it ! Stay yourself and cook from the heart, It feels good to know that sometimes good people win ! Thanks Paul for the Season, and I will have to go to your restaurant when I will have time to go to Texas.

Joan Perrin
Joan Perrin

Congrats, Paul. You stayed true to yourself, and remained classy through out the competition. I was pleased to see how important having your father be proud of you was. Best of luck.

kka1
kka1

A Top Chef should be a leader but not a bully with little regard for the feelings of others. There is no question Sara is a good "chef" but she is not a well rounded, humble, nice person. Paul absolutely deserved to win.

Woowee
Woowee

Congratulations Chef Paul! You absolutely deserve this. Hooray for the Philippines as well! We're so proud of you just like your Dad, Mom and Deana.

Aloha808
Aloha808

Love you Paul! CONGRATS!!!

Not only are you uber talented, you are also the CUTEST top chef ever.

Demelza
Demelza

Congratulations, Paul! You really deserve it. You were my favorite from the start. Your talent in the kitchen is matched by your modesty and sweet spirit. You have shown everyone how to win with grace, best wishes to you and your loved ones.

JAMJON
JAMJON

yeah Paul! way to represent and hold it down for our city...ATX yall;) congrats!

zita
zita

To the person who commented on how the judging comments seemed to sway in Sarah's favor... This is an entertainment show, and editing comments and content is liberally used to sway viewers and their feelings about what is going on. We would need an actual non edited tape to see what really went down. I was in the other room when the percentage came up of viewers voting for Paul, which was something like 98%, and this elicited a giant "Whoa!" from both my husband and my son, who normally tease me about the show. Paul demonstrated skill, professionalism and goodness throughout, and that is refreshing in this day and age. Seeing his dad's response was very touching also.

jenpoetess
jenpoetess

You were my favorite this season showcasing the cook skills of someone who is talented, humble and sweet.

Blessings to you, your lady and family!

Amy H
Amy H

Paul: I always thought you would be top chef. Through thick and thin you kept your professional attitude as a chef and pulled through in spite of the goings on with different personalities and sabatoges. I am very happy you won and unfortunately due to a fire in my home I was unable to watch the finale and I have no sound to hear the videos but I always knew you'd make it so for now I'm satisfied but I watched it up to this point! Good Luck!

Penelope Harmon
Penelope Harmon

Congratulations Paul! I am so glad you won!!!! I feel the better chef won, and now I get to keep watching. It is a contest, but you also have to have respect for the other contestants. I can't wait till it comes on again, so I can see your expression when you win! Many Blessings to you and your family......you have enriched the cooking world and those they want to be like you!

Cindy D.
Cindy D.

Paul showed teamwork and professionalism throughout the show. Glad you took the prize and not Sarah because it just shows that those $125,000 would have definitely turned her into an obnoxious human being.

TweetyR
TweetyR

Congratulations Paul......I have to agree with other comments about Sarah her personality stunk!!!! and she was always complaining or crying which got old!!!! Jeez she didn't even compete for the fianl four just goes to show what she's made of.....take the easy way!!!! Again Congratulations Paul

Paulette, Florida
Paulette, Florida

Yes,Paul, I agree with most of the comments above. Your kind, humble and respectful demeanor/personality added to your charm, but if you did not produce the best dishes, the judges would not have voted you TOP CHEF. You are the real deal and the complete epitomy of a TOP CHEF. The bullying conduct of Lindsey (ugh!), Sarah (ugh, ugh!!) and Heather (ugh, ugh, ugh!!!) in general, and especially towards towards Beverly, was despicable--and, truly, at times, hard to watch. Even Nyesha, when beaten by Bev in Last Chance Kitchen, gave Bev her kudos. Sarah's "kind" words about Bev last night on Watch What Happens rang false and so insincere. Women like Sarah, Lindsey and Heather give all women a bad rep--thank God for females like Bev--even with all the constant bullying she received from these three women, she was able to continue to focus, stay positive, not engage in their disgusting behavior and produce wonderful food. And, yes, Sarah, definitely did get a pass and did not belong as a finalist--especially after her cop-out and hospital visit during the outside BBQ challenge (how convenient for Sarah to return just as it was time for her to serve her food [all rested and cooled off] and to hell with her teammates). And, Sarah really showed her true colors when she was crying and hugging and kissing her BFF Lindsey when she was eliminated--I wonder how Lindsey felt when Sarah said she knew all along it was going to be she, Sarah, and Paul as the two finalists. Lastly, TOP CHEF JUDGES, thank you for awarding the title to the true deserver who earned the title--if Paul had not won, even though I am an ardent fan of all the shows, I would have stopped watching, too. (Almost did years ago when fat red-haired Tiffani shut off the other chefs' ovens and wasn't reprimaded for it!) CONGRATULATIONS PAUL!!!

jlew911
jlew911

I really don't understand all the hate on Sarah. She deserved to be in the finale....her last meal to me looked great! That pasta with the tartare was genius!

You all talk about her personality but this isn't a popularity contest, damn it! And there have been previous Top Chef winners with arrogant and snooty attitudes! Puh-lease!

Tohui
Tohui

Yeah!!!! Paul, you deserve to win the top chef!! I love this show and Paul deserves to win. I wish you the best and I know you will become something big. :-) very happy you won.

asianb
asianb

Congratulations to Paul! The best chef won!! The best food and the best personality!!!

Diana Sommer
Diana Sommer

Congrats Paul.......Sarah pssst! Such a fake!

Shiba
Shiba

Yay, Paul!!!! Congratulations! I'm so glad you won. You were the best throughout the competition and your talent, humility and humor really shone. I wish you much success and happiness in life.

ME in Ohio
ME in Ohio

Congratulations Paul! I was a "Paul fan" from the beginning and so glad that he won.

randallaveyahoo
randallaveyahoo

It was clear to me from around week 2 or 3 that Paul was the most talented chef competing this season and I am SO glad he won. Sarah is a spoiled brat, Beverly is so passive-agressive it's ridiculous, and Lindsay was good but not nearly at Paul's level. Congrats Paul and enjoy the success, you earned it!

FanFare57
FanFare57

Congrats, Paul. All season, you kept cool, calm and even tempered and remained out of the fray. You took on leadership roles very comfortably and were accountable if things didn't work out. You were kind, generous of spirit and an amazing competitor without bravado. You were a truly rare person who quietly climbed higher and higher. You proved to be the "Nice Guy Who Finished First"! Good for YOU.

Rebecca Evans Lee
Rebecca Evans Lee

Paul reminded us of important lessons: You are stronger than you know. Never underestimate yourself. Use your strengths...character, focus, talent (so much talent), diligent work and good self-care. Your win is an inspiration!