Chef Arrest

Uchi chef Philip Speer found unconscious in ditch and arrested for DWI after rollover crash

Uchi chef Philip Speer arrested for DWI after rollover crash

St. Philip Speer
Speer at the recently opened St. Philip in South Austin.  Photo by Eric Sandler

Philip Speer, Uchi's director of culinary operations and head chef of the recently opened St. Philip, has been arrested for DWI. The famed chef was found unconscious in a ditch by a KVUE photojournalist in the early morning hours of October 10. Police say Speer allegedly rolled his car near the intersection of Cameron Road and East Anderson Lane. The crash reportedly ignited a natural gas leak which was quickly contained by members of the Austin Fire Department.

Following a 911 call that came in around 2:15 am on Friday morning, eyewitnesses reported seeing the driver of an overturned Mazda sedan flee the scene on foot. According to an arrest affidavit first obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, Speer was found nearby laying face down in the grass. According to the arresting officer, Speer's clothing was "disarranged and soiled," and he "smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage."

Though he refused a field sobriety test, Speer told arresting officers that he had consumed three drinks at a Fifth Street bar and that he was "drunk." Though KVUE originally captured the video of Speer in handcuffs and still clad in his St. Philip chef jacket, Eater Austin was the first outlet to positively identify the chef. Speer was taken away by ambulance and later booked into the Travis County jail.

According to Travis County arrest records, Speer was booked around 6 am on Friday, October 10 for "Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or more." He was also charged with leaving the scene of a collision. According the arrest affidavit, Speer was previously been convicted for DWI in 1999, 2005 and 2007.

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