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Paul Qui
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The Faena Questionnaire: Paul Qui

Dine, Miami

Our rendition of the Proust Questionnaire is our unique take on the famous parlor game that gained popularity, although it was not originally created, by Marcel Proust, the renowned French essayist and novelist.



An interpretation of modern Asian cuisine, drawing inspiration from a diverse array of international styles such as Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, and French, awaits diners at this culinary haven led by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui. Nestled against stunning ocean views, the restaurant goes beyond expectations with its exclusive speakeasy-style Omakase experience called El Secreto. Within this clandestine space, a fusion of Tokyo-style sushi and Kyoto-style kaiseki creates an unparalleled tasting menu, guiding guests through a mouthwatering culinary journey.

Paul Qui’s rise to culinary stardom began with a victory on Top Chef, followed by a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. Revered Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio once hailed Qui as the most talented chef in the show’s history. Today, Qui stands as one of North America’s most formidable young talents, with critically acclaimed restaurants and a fleet of Asian-inspired food trucks in Austin, Texas.

Hailing from Manila, Philippines, and equipped with training in classic French and Japanese cuisine, Qui employs a modernist approach to food that is both playful and authentic. His culinary mastery lies in seamlessly marrying classical techniques with local flavors, drawing inspiration from Filipino, Japanese, Spanish, and French culinary traditions. Qui’s philosophy centers around food as a conduit for memories, familiarity, and comfort, avoiding confinement to a singular cuisine type. Instead, he seeks definition through the experiences of his guests, who consistently shower his creations with rave reviews.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My hair.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Jon Snow.

How would you like to die?

Facing the world head-on.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

I wish I could express my love while they were still alive.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Making my parents proud.

What is it that you most dislike?

Expensive bad food.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

Myself. I would be curious to see where my world left off and where it’s headed.

What is your most treasured possession?

Buckingham’s dog tags.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


Where would you like to live?

Austin, Bergen, Miami, and places I’ve never been.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My passion.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their refusal to let me give up.

Who are your favorite writers?

Philip K. Dick, George R. R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Charles Bukowski, John Wooden.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My family.

What is your greatest fear?

Letting down the people I care for.

What is your motto?

Tomorrow has to be better than today.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be at peace wherever I am, no matter what I do, especially when I’m alone.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I am a man that has an appetite for all things; I love to consume creativity.

Which living person do you most despise?

I would say myself; there’s no other person I despise more. The skill to love yourself is a skill I’m trying to learn.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I hate my kindness.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I don’t know.

When and where were you happiest?

There are a few places: when I’m around people I love, furry friends I love, and when I’m in the kitchen with my team.

What is your favorite occupation?

Inspiring people.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


On what occasion do you lie?

When I’m insecure.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

It depends on the day.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to have empathy all the time, even in the most difficult moments.

Which living person do you most admire?

My Lola.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What is your favorite journey?

Discovering myself.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Empathy is Hospitality.

What is your greatest regret?

 I have sad memories but never any regret; all mistakes in my life are part of my story.

What is your current state of mind?