Paul Qui kept assuring us that he wouldn't be leaving Austin for New York City, but now we can't be so sure.
While he admittedly loves to toy with the media, we'd be shocked if Qui didn't at least dip his toes in other metropolitan markets to capitalize on the brand that he's built as a James Beard Foundation award winner and recent champion of Bravo's Top Chef: Texas.
What we can be certain of, for now, is that Qui is being courted by establishments around the world hoping to feature his culinary genuis. While he's not committing to a full-time restaurant, Qui will indeed headline a week-long dinner series at Manhattan's "culinary salon" City Grit.
Curated by Food & Wine-famed chef Sarah Simmons, City Grit hosts guest chefs from around the world who showcase their food at ticketed supper club-style dinners for 70 people or less.
Other noteworthy chefs on City Grit's schedule include Tien Ho (formerly Momofuku, Má Pêche), Chris Jaeckle (formerly Ai Fiori), April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin), Lee Hanson (Minetta Tavern) Marc Vetri (James Beard winner) and Mark Ladner (Del Posto).
Qui will set up shop in City Grit's kitchen from July 30 - Aug. 4 for a six night series featuring a seven course tasting menu for $95 a head (which really isn't that bad for New York standards).
The City Grit website teases that "he will be previewing dishes for his new concept and giving us the skinny on what he's got in the works."
Now, whether that concept will plant its roots in Austin or New York City has yet to be seen. In the meantime, we Texans can keep our fingers crossed for our hometown hero to remain, or we can head up North for at least a taste of Qui's future.