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Let the rumor mill churn: Is Paul Qui returning to Top Chef?

Austin photo: News_Out of Bounds_Top Chef
Courtesy of Bravo TV
Top Chef Extreme
Bravo TV's latest round of promotional materials features a familiar face. Bravo TV/ Bravotv.com

Let the rumor mill churn! Bravo TV has released the first round of promotional materials for the latest incarnation of its hit series Top Chef, and it features a very familiar face: Paul Qui. 

The newest version of the franchise, Top Chef Extreme, is scheduled to air in the summer of 2014 and will pit winners from previous seasons against one another in a battle to see who is the "Ultimate Top Chef." (We would have preferred to see the winner called the Top of the Top Top Chefs, but, understandably, that seems confusing.)

Qui, of course, won Top Chef: Texas in 2012, just a few weeks before winning a coveted James Beard Award that catapulted the former Uchiko executive chef to foodie superstardom. Over the past 18 months, Qui has racked up numerous accolades for his inventive style, first for his East Side King franchise and most recently at his East Austin flagship restaurant, Qui

While Bravo isn't releasing the names of the contestants yet, sources at Qui's camp have said the Season 9 winner will not be on the new Bravo show "that they know of." In the meantime, Bravo is launching a social media campaign asking viewers which "cheftestant" they would most like to see compete in the head-to-head competition. Qui is already garnering support from the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, who posted on Facebook, 

 

 

Bravo's latest announcement was made the same day as East Side King announced it will be taking over Washington, DC's famed Toki Underground on January 24. Qui will be joined by fellow chefs Moto Utsunomiya and Jorge Luis Hernandez, who will spend the day serving our nation's capital some of ESK's most famous dishes including: Fried Brussels Sprout Salad, Thai Chicken Karaage and Beef Tongue Kare Kare Buns. More information on the DC pop up can be found here.

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