Top Chef Star Justin Sutherland Reveals His Boating Accident Injuries

On June 22, celebrity chef Justin Sutherland told Minnesota's Star Tribune he was planning on "taking it easy this summer." At the same time, the "Iron Chef America" winner, "Top Chef" competitor, host of TruTv's "Fast Foodies," and prolific restaurateur was busy opening two new venues while continuing with his other ongoing projects. These included Executive Chef-ing at Handsome Hog, his flagship St. Paul restaurant specializing in elevated pork-centric soul food, and acting on behalf of underserved youth in his St. Paul community, as Sutherland discussed during an interview with Stove Side Chat. So much for taking it easy, right?

Nevertheless, a week and a half later, Sutherland was actually doing precisely that. Of course, as it happens with all the best-laid plans, that's when fate threw its wrench into the works. On Sunday, July 3, during what was supposed to have been a chill day of hosting friends on his boat out on Minnesota's breathtaking open waters, a freak accident left Justin Sutherland hospitalized and fighting for his life. According to the GoFundMe page organized by Sutherland's family (per People), Captain Sutherland, as he likes to think of himself out there on the water, was piloting the boat when he felt his hat fly off in the wind. Just as he reached out for it, a wave hit the boat, knocking Sutherland off the deck and into the water. 

Sutherland landed near the motor, sustaining serious injuries, as he revealed in an Instagram post yesterday. Warning: graphic photo ahead.

Justin Sutherland's boating accident injuries, revealed

"Top Chef" star, Justin Sutherland was involved in a horrific boating accident on July 3 (via Today). No secret there, nor the fact that Sutherland sustained serious injuries requiring surgery and hospitalization, per Instagram. But until yesterday, no one except those close to Sutherland could really comprehend the seriousness of those injuries or the terrifying reality of how close he may have come to losing his life that afternoon. 

"Sutherland landed in the water near the boat's motor and the propeller caused a number of injuries to his head and left arm," Today reported on July 7. As it turns out, Sutherland's head injuries include multiple, deep facial lacerations, as shown above, as well as a "severely broken" jaw, per GoFundMe. As for his left arm, it was broken as well, but the good news is that he does not appear to have sustained any nerve damage, and he's already able to exert a firm grip. Oh, and his beard is just fine, in case anyone's wondering, and we assume plenty are. But there's great news as well: Justin Sutherland is "going to be fine." 

In fact, "with some time, he will possibly be better than fine," the GoFundMe page goes on to say, referring to facial scarring that may permanently add character to Sutherland's visage, not to mention the psychic scars that often accompany physical trauma of this magnitude. Here's how the Minnesota restaurant community is pitching in to help.