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Justin Sutherland, the acclaimed chef behind Twin Cities restaurants including Handsome Hog and The Gnome, was seriously injured in a freak boat propeller accident on Fourth of July weekend.

Sutherland, who rose to greater prominence as a contestant on Food Network's Iron Chef, was piloting friends on his boat on Saturday, July 3, when the accident happened.

According to a fundraising page set up to help pay for his medical care, Sutherland's hat blew off, and when he tried to grab it, the boat hit a wave and he was knocked off the craft.

The page describes his injuries:

"He fell into the water near the motor, and the propeller did a number on his head and left arm. His arm is broken, but his grip remains strong and there appears to be no nerve damage. His jaw is severely broken, but doctors are optimistic that with several more surgeries he will be grinning in no time. In addition to his broken bones, he sustained many lacerations, but with plastic surgery, they will become a reminder of his survival story."

Fortunately, the update says he is "going to be fine," albeit will be "adding more character to the face we know and love."

The page notes however that he will be in the hospital "for some time" having already undergone several surgeries, with "many more to come."

The fundraiser was launched because at the time of the accident, Sutherland had no health insurance coverage. As of Wednesday morning, more than $55,000 has been raised for his recovery from a target amount of $500,000.

As well as Handsome Hog, The Gnome, and Gray Duck Tavern, in St. Paul, Sutherland also operated Obachan Noodles and Chicken and Chickpea Hummus Bar, both in Rosedale Center.

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