On Thursday, dining publication Tasting Table hosted chef Paul Qui for a virtual tutorial on how to make homemade lumpia, sparking controversy from those who are still furious about the chef’s 2015 arrest for domestic violence.
In the series of videos, Qui outlines how to make what he calls “redemption” meat and potato lumpia, or deep-fried Filipino spring rolls, via Instagram stories, along with other variations on the beloved dish. The chef is certainly not the first chef to participate in one of these virtual cooking tutorials, but Qui is a highly controversial figure. In 2015, the chef was arrested in Austin for allegedly beating and bloodying his then-girlfriend, which incited a national conversation about how to handle chefs who have been credibly accused of domestic violence. Those charges were later dismissed because Qui’s alleged victim declined to participate in his prosecution.
Check out a screenshot of Qui’s post on Instagram here:
Several comments appearing on the program’s Instagram feed were critical of the decision to feature Qui, but have since been deleted. One indictment of Qui remained as of publication. “Did y’all run out of chefs who aren’t domestic abusers to feature, or what?,” wrote one user.
The idea that Paul Qui would be able to “redeem” himself after these domestic violence charges has been an ongoing part of his narrative. Following the arrest, Austin Chronicle reviewer Melody Fury wondered in 2017 whether or not the chef’s restaurant Kuneho would “offer redemption” via its “ambitious” menu. When he opened a restaurant in Dallas, Qui described it as “part of his effort to move forward” from the “negativity” associated with his name.
As previously reported by Eater, Qui is currently facing charges of driving while intoxicated in connection with two auto accidents that occurred in October 2019. According to police records, Qui was allowed to be picked up from the scene of the first accident by a friend, and was involved in a second minor car crash that night. A toxicology report later revealed that Qui had alprazolam, cocaine, and THC in his system, and the chef was eventually arrested in December.
Qui was scheduled to head back to court to face these charges in April, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, his court date has been moved back to June.