‘Top Chef’ Star Aaron Grissom Dies At 34
Fans of the reality television show “Top Chef” are in mourning this week after the death of Aaron Grissom, who competed on season 12 on the show. The 34 year-old was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in Washington state, and Bravo has since confirmed his passing.
“Bravo and the Top Chef family are saddened to learn about the passing of Chef Aaron Grissom from Season 12: Boston,” Bravo told Fox News. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.”
The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Grissom’s death to be an accident after concluding that he died of “multiple blunt force injuries” in a traffic accident.
“University Place police responded to the scene at 64th Street and Grandview West Drive at 5:20 a.m. Wednesday,” the Tacoma News Tribune reported. “Witnesses were performing CPR on a lone motorcycle rider, who had approached the turn in the road at a high speed, according to the police report. They heard “high revving” of the vehicle’s engine. Upon turning the corner themselves, witnesses said they found the driver, Grissom, on the ground, his motorcycle about 100 feet beyond him. He was wearing a helmet, police said.”
A friend of Grissom’s said that before he died, he had been cooking for touring acts such as Billie Eilish.
“He had a lot going on,” Yu Nanakornphanom said. “I think he had a good future ahead of him. He’s always learning to do something. He was driven. He lived his life fully.”
Grissom finished in 11th place out of sixteen chefs on his season of “Top Chef.” He went on to appear on the Food Network series, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” while working as a chef at Dirty Oscar’s Annex in Tacoma.
Grissom’s bio for “Top Chef” said that he had a “passion for Asian and new American cuisine,” which he showcased while working at Nanakornphanom’s Indo Street Asian Eatery in Tacoma.
The chef’s life was not always so glamorous, however. While living in Los Angeles back in 2014, he was arrested on domestic abuse charges for allegedly hitting a girlfriend, but Nanakornphanom disputes this story based on conversations he had with Grissom.
“He is not that. He might be hotheaded, but — I mean, a lot of chefs are like that,” said Nanakornphanom. “I think that’s really normal for chefs who are really driven.”