Sep 22, 2022 - Food and Drink

Justin Sutherland opens up about July boating accident and GoFundMe

Justin Sutherland holding a microphone.
Justin Sutherland at South by Southwest this year. Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Celebrity chef Justin Sutherland still can’t eat or see clearly following his July boating accident, but he says he’s in good spirits.

Driving the news: Sutherland — known for Twin Cities restaurants Handsome Hog and Northern Soul, among others — has opened up about the gruesome accident on the St. Croix River in a series of recent media interviews.

The “Top Chef” alum was knocked off a boat and fell into the propeller, suffering severe injuries to his head and arm.

Between the lines: A GoFundMe campaign created by Sutherland’s friends and family after the accident raised more than $275,000 to help cover his medical bills, leading some to question why the restaurateur didn’t have health insurance.

What he’s saying: “Before I knew the extent of the accident, I was a little angry — I didn’t want to ask people for money. Then they showed me a mirror, and I realized I definitely needed a GoFundMe,” Sutherland told Axios.

  • In a Tuesday interview with WCCO, he said he "felt self-insured" before the accident because he had been able to pay for previous medical expenses out of pocket.

What’s next: All the money will go toward his medical bills, he confirmed, and the fundraiser will close at the end of the month.

  • Sutherland said he now has health insurance.
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