slideshow recap. Here are a few more choice nuggets from our conversations with participants Tiffani Faison and Hosea Rosenberg.
Zagat: How does this live-and-in-person challenge compare to the heated competition of the TV show?
Faison: "I think it’s more about having a good time. It’s a competition, but it’s not killing each other on this. For me, I think it’s great for people to see how easy cooking can be and be able to taste it. It’s nice to spend time together and joke around with each other."
Rosenberg: "It’s all meant to be fun. This isn’t too serious, you know. Obviously, you want to make good food, but it’s not like your career is hanging on the balance of the decision. I’m saying this because I lost. I love doing these things, because I end up meeting someone I didn’t know before, and see the city a little bit."
Zagat: How did the quick fame from the show affect your career?
Rosenberg: "For me, after the show, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Like, what do you do with this? I just won. I was working at a restaurant; I was the chef, but I wasn’t the owner. I was like, 'What do I do now - do I open a restaurant this month, am I supposed to start a TV career?' There are very few people who can guide you through that. I was getting pulled in a million directions. Everybody wants to know what’s the next move? I just wanted to get back to my life for a little while. We started a food truck in Colorado and (Blackbelly Catering) as sort of an extension of that. Blackbelly is a heritage sheep we’re raising.
Faison: There’s no manual for how you deal with this. It’s important to push yourself always, as long as it’s consistent with who you want to be as a person and what you want to give and do in the world.
On stage, Rosenberg admits the only way he’d do Top Chef again: “They’d have to put another zero at the end of the prize money.”