Our interview with this season’s tippety-top chef’testant, after the jump.
Hosea, a lot of people were pretty surprised you took it all home. Did you think all along that you could win Top Chef?
Early on I thought I had a good shot. Towards the end of New York I was a little off. But then we took a break, had some time to clear my head, relax, and I came back much more focused, just put my head down and went to work. I wasn’t going to make any predictions, but I was just determined to do my best to win, and that’s what I did.
A lot of people are saying you didn’t so much win as Stefan and Carla lost. Is that unfair?
I don’t really understand why there are so many haters out there. I know a lot of people were rooting for Carla, and a lot of other people thought Stefan was the best chef. But I put the best food out there in the final challenge. I don’t know why people are so against me. I didn’t win every challenge, but I worked my ass off. It was no accident that I was in the final three and I put the best food out there in the final challenge. I have proven myself as a chef. I don’t have to apologize to anyone for winning.
OK enough about cooking. Are you dating Leah or what?
We’re good friends, we talk a lot and we enjoy each other’s company. But I live in Colorado and she lives in New York.
Yet we’ve heard reports that you fit in some scandalous trips to New York to see her. True?
Ummmm…(laughs)…you know, we’re both single and we do like each other. So yeah, I have kissed her since the show ended. If we both lived in the same city, I think we’d probably be dating. We’re having dinner tonight actually — I won’t tell you where.
Then what are you still doing in Colorado, man? You’re Top Chef!
For the short term, I’m going to stay put. All of my contacts are out here. I work with a lot of farmers and ranchers who I get food from, so I’m gonna stay out here for the next year or so.
So what are you doing with the $100,000?
For now it will allow me to take some time off, spend some time with my father, who has cancer and has been getting worse. There are a couple of sick people in my family, so it’s going to allow me to get some family time in.
What’s next for you professionally?
I’m working with a food company that does packaged goods and we’re gonna get something together that will be in Whole Foods all across the country. And I plan to open my own restaurant in nine months or so. Definitely in Colorado, hopefully in Boulder.