“Top Chef” has given rise to scandals such as the assault by Marcel Vigneron

Winner of Excellent chef Season 18 Gabe Erales received a lot of criticism after it was revealed that he sexually harassed one of his co-workers at the Comedor in Austin, Texas. He was fired from the restaurant in December 2020 for “repeated violations of the company’s ethics policy”, per Austin American-Stateman.

Gabe is not the first Excellent chef candidate to face a public backlash. Here are some of the worst scandals in the history of nearly two decades of Excellent chef.

Cliff Crooks physically assaulted Marcel Vigneron in an episode of season 2 of “Top Chef: Los Angeles”.

A particularly disturbing scene in Season 2, Episode 11 of Best Chef: Los Angeles shows Cliff Crooks as he pins Marcel Vigneron on the ground to shave his head. Elia Aboumrad, Ilan Hall and Sam Talbot were also present.

Source: Twitter

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Visibly upset, Marcel manages to walk away before Cliff does the odious prank. It is understood that Marcel struggled to get along with the competitors and that the incident was another manifestation of deeply flawed group dynamics.

In an article published on well done, Excellent chef Judge Tom Colicchio compared the disturbing scene to loud bachelor parties. As he argued, it went from “a ridiculous – if not cruel – act of youthful bullying” to a “wacky drunken idea”, and ultimately, to an “act of ugly stupidity”.

Many Excellent chef competitors would have been intoxicated that night, although this should not be used as an excuse.

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While many people were on the scene, only Cliff, the competitor who violated the code of conduct by “harming or threatening to harm” another participant, was dismissed from employment. Best Chef: Los Angeles. As Tom suggested in his article for well done, the producers vetoed the proposal to disqualify viewers Elia, Ilan and Sam, “and let Marcel win by default”.

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Paul Qui, winner of “Top Chef: Texas”, was arrested in 2016.

Paul Qui, an award-winning James Beard Foundation leader, was arrested for unlawful restraint and assault causing bodily harm to a family member in Austin, Texas, in March 2016.

As an affidavit cited by The Washington Post states, Paul had “blood all over his face, arms, legs and clothes,” the apartment was “in a complete mess, and the furniture and glass were broken,” and there was “stained blood. on the walls and the floor ”.

Paul’s then partner had “a new cut on his right forearm and bruises on his upper arms,” ​​the affidavit continues. It seems that she and her son tried to leave the apartment, but Paul held them back.

Many magazines and publications have decided to stop covering Paul’s subsequent endeavors in light of the revelations.

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Tweet about Paul Qui's disgrace

“Paul Qui was a staple of national food media prior to his arrest for domestic assault; over the next two years he almost completely disappeared from magazines and digital ads,” Helen Rosner, editor at The New Yorker, tweeted in February 2018. “Enjoy your meal and Food and wine don’t have critiques per se, but they made the choice, after Qui’s arrest, to exclude it from coverage – to use their power to shape food culture to create a form that excludes it. “

The charges against Paul were dropped in April 2018. He is currently developing a new restaurant in Houston called Outpost.

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