Chef Arrest

Top chef arrested for third DWI after rollover crash leaves him unconscious

Top chef arrested for DWI after rollover crash leaves him unconscious

St. Philip Speer
Speer at the recently opened St. Philip in South Austin.  Photo by Eric Sandler

Philip Speer, a Houston native who, in his role as Uchi's director of culinary operations makes frequent trips home to supervise the company's Houston restaurant, has been arrested for DWI. The famed chef, who lives in Austin, was found unconscious in a ditch by an Austin TV station photographer in the early morning hours on Oct. 10.

Speer allegedly rolled his car over near the intersection of Cameron Road and East Anderson Lane in Austin. The crash reportedly ignited a natural gas leak. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the driver of the overturned 2014 Mazda sedan flee the scene on foot, according to an arrest affidavit. Speer was later found laying face down in the grass. According to the arresting officer, Speer's clothing was "disarranged and soiled," and he "smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage."

Though he refused a field sobriety test, according to the affidavit, Speer told arresting officers that he had consumed three drinks at a Fifth Street bar and that he was "drunk." Though it was KVUE that captured the video of Speer in handcuffs and still clad in his St. Philip chef jacket, Eater Austin was the first outlet to positively identify the chef. Speer was taken away by ambulance and later booked into the Travis County jail.

According to Travis County arrest records, Speer was booked around 6 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, for "Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or more." He was also charged with leaving the scene of a collision. According the arrest affidavit, this is Speer's fourth arrest for DWI. He was convicted in 1999, 2005 and 2007 of the same charge.