Former "Top Chef" contestant Aaron Grissom got involved in a fatal motorcycle accident. The chef passed away on Tuesday, September 8 after he suffered "multiple blunt force injuries" in a single-vehicle crash near Chambers Bay in Washington state. He was only 34.
According to TMZ, sources say witnesses told cops they saw Aaron's 2018 Suzuki GSX-R750 traveling at a high rate of speed through the roundabout before the crash. He seemed to have lost control of his motorcycle after striking a curb in a roundabout.
Witnesses told police they heard "high revving" of the vehicle's engine. Upon turning the corner themselves, they found the driver, Aaron, on the ground with his motorcycle about 100 feet beyond him. Witnesses attempted chest compressions on him before first responders arrived and medics performed CPR on Aaron.
A traffic deputy's investigation determined that the motorcycle hit the curb twice, before and after the bend in the road. He was wearing a helmet and no other vehicles or people were involved in the crash. His death has been ruled an accident by the Pierce County medical examiner.
Yu Nanakornphanom, who owned Moshi Moshi ramen bar where Aaron previously worked as head chef, tells The New Tribune that Aaron departed Moshi Moshi last summer as the restaurant entered its slow season. Aaron was then cooking for touring singers, such as Billie Eilish, before concerts were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yu says Aaron had been living in Mexico with his girlfriend during the pandemic. His return to the Tacoma area was unexpected. Yu also remembers the chef for selflessly giving his kidney to him when his restaurant first opened.
"He had a lot going on," Yu says of the late chef. "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."
Following his passing, Bravo has released a statement to pay tribute to Aaron. "Bravo and the 'Top Chef' family are saddened to learn about the passing of Chef Aaron Grissom from Season 12: Boston," a representative for the network says. "Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends."