Aaron Grissom's Devastating 2020 Death

Bravo TV's original show, "Top Chef," is a wonderful way for viewers to get to know restaurant chefs from across the globe and learn their stories. Unfortunately, the world lost an inspirational one. Aaron Grissom, a contestant on season 12, "Top Chef: Boston," passed away at the age of 34 due to a motorcycle accident in Washington state (via Delish). A Tacoma-based newspaper in Washington, The News Tribune, stated that the Pierce County medical examiner declared his death an accident, reporting that Grissom experienced blunt force injuries.

According to TMZ, law enforcement found that Grissom was driving a 2018 Suzuki GSX-R750 motorcycle at high speeds near Chambers Bay when he hit a curb in a roundabout, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. Aaron was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred but still required CPR. After civilians performed chest compressions, first responders arrived at the scene, but unfortunately, Grissom did not survive the ordeal.

About Grissom

After Grissom was a contestant on "Top Chef: Boston," he went on to make appearances on other television shows, such as Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" and Bravo's online series, "Last Chance Kitchen," while working at Tacoma-based restaurant Dirty Oscar's Annex. Grissom had also been a chef for A-list musicians like Billie Eilish and more, leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak. He later served as executive chef at Bow & Truss in Los Angeles while making television appearances (via The Wrap).

According to Pop Culture, after Grissom's elimination from "Top Chef," things took a slight turn. He had just filmed the first episode of "Last Chance Kitchen" (on which he was eliminated) when he was arrested and charged with domestic violence for pushing his girlfriend to the point of her suffering a knee injury. Fellow chef and former boss Yu Nanakornphanom tells The News Tribune, "He is not that. He might be hot-headed, but I mean, a lot of chefs are like that. I think that's really normal for chefs who are really driven."

His legacy

Grissom worked for Nanakornphano at the ramen bar, Moshi Moshi, located in the Tacoma Stadium District (via The Wrap). After some time, he left to explore other opportunities, which is when he landed several of his television appearances. However, Grissom and Nanakornphano remained close. During his time at Moshi Moshi, Nanonkornphanom was suffering from health complications and needed a kidney transplant. After cracking a few jokes, the two realized they shared the same rare blood type, and Grissom donated one of his kidneys to Nanonkornphanom (via Delish). After hearing of the arrests and the fatal accident, Nanakornphanom stated, "He had a lot going on. 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." 

Unfortunately, Grissom isn't the only contestant that "Top Chef" lost that year. According to Grub Street, winner of "Top Chef: Masters," Floyd Cardoz died from COVID-19 in March 2020 at the age of 59 years old.