Aaron Grissom Dead: ‘Top Chef’ Star Killed in Motorcycle Crash at 34

aaron grissom dead

Bravo Aaron Grissom died in a motorcycle accident on Tuesday, September 8, at 34.

Aaron Grissom, who competed on Season 12 of Top Chef, died in a motorcycle accident on Tuesday, September 8, as reported by TMZ. He was 34.

Grissom’s death was ruled an accident, the Pierce County Medical examiner told the News Tribune. His cause of death stemmed from suffering “blunt force injuries” during the crash, which took place in Chambers Bay, Washington.

The Washington native was living in Los Angeles and working as a chef at North Hollywood’s Bow & Truss when he competed on Bravo’s cooking reality TV series in 2014. He was one of 16 contestants on Top Chef: Boston, but due to his argumentative nature was eliminated early on in the competition.

Before that, Grissom had joined Guy Fieri on for an episode of his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Together, they visited and showcased Grissom’s restaurant, Dirty Oscar’s Annex, which is located on 6th Avenue in Tacoma.

Here’s what you need to know about Aaron Grissom:


Grissom Was Arrested & Booked on Suspicion of Felony Domestic Violence in 2014

Scandals That Will Sadly Plague Top Chef ForeverBravo's Top Chef has been on the air for 16 seasons, and over the years it's definitely seen its fair share of drama. From reported wage theft to alleged assault, here's what scandals have the network saying, Please pack your knives, and go. Marcel Vigneron first appeared on Top Chef season 2. And though it…2019-09-22T01:00:05Z
On November 4, 2014, Grissom’s girlfriend alleged that he pushed her so hard that she suffered a knee injury during an argument at home. The reality star was booked at 1:15 p.m. local time on suspicion of felony domestic violence in the Los Angeles Area of the San Fernando Valley. The sheriff’s department reported that the chef was released after posting $50,000 bail.

Grissom had already finished filming his stint on Top Chef: Boston when he was charged with domestic violence, as reported by Eater LA. However, Bravo did not comment on the situation at the time, and the show continued to air as normal.

After Grissom was eliminated early, viewers were unsure if the network would cut his subsequent appearance on Last Chance Kitchen, which gives cut contestants another shot to regain their spot in the competition. Bravo did air Grissom’s episode of Last Chance Kitchen, during which he was eliminated in the first round.


Grissom Donated a Kidney to His Business Partner, Who Suffered From Diabetes

Vathunyu “Yu” Nanakornphanom – Indo Asian Street Eatery – Inspired PalatesThis episode features Chef Vathunyu “Yu” Nanakornphanom of Indo Asian Street Eatery. A Tacoma resident, Chef Yu was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Chef Yu is a self-taught chef who spent countless hours cooking with his family as a child. He also spent a lot of time on the streets of Bangkok, where he…2016-08-10T16:43:42Z
Yu Nanakornphanom, who worked with Grissom on his ramen bar Moshi Moshi, told the News Tribune that even after his friend and chef departed from the restaurant, they remained close. In fact, Grissom donated his kidney to his business partner.

“After we opened (Moshi Moshi), we talked about it. ‘I have this condition, I don’t know how much I can take with the business,’” Nanakornphanom said. “Then we were joking around, and he said, ‘I can give you a kidney.’ We happened to be a match — we’re both Type O. It’s very rare to find Type O.”

After leaving Moshi Moshi last summer, the chef started cooking meals for major touring singers including Billie Eilish, but due to COVID-19, all concerts were canceled. Grissom moved to live in Mexico to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, the News Tribune reported.

According to Nanakornphanom, Grissom was spending time with his girlfriend in Mexico but had recently returned to the Tacoma area. “He had a lot going on,” said Nanakornphanom. “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.”

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