March 2, 2009

Hosea is Top Chef!

Hoooooooooooooo! Update: Hosea Rosenberg, Top Chef, the “strapping young baldy from Boulder, Colorado,” gives a relatively in-depth post victory interview here. Of particular interest, personally-speaking—his discussion of his future. We gotta Keep Hosea in Boulder! Update: new interview including discussion of his connecting with Martha Stewart.

Update: Rocky Mountain News & Daily Camera video, photos and articles re: Boulder, Colorado Jax chef Hosea Rosenberg’s Top Chef victory here. Be sure to watch the video. Only Hosea could be so genuinely humble after such a huge win: “Love you Mom, bye.” “The only thing I learned is how much I have left to learn…”

“After I get back I’m going up to Crestone to see my Dad. He has cancer. My mom isn’t doing so well either. I need some good family time,” he said.

For now, Rosenberg will be staying at Jax. “I do plan on staying in Boulder and opening my own place here,” he said. “I’m also working with a local group to market some organic food products.”








A lifelong girlpal and I sat on the roof of West End Tavern tonight with Hosea Rosenberg, Melissa HarrisonDave Query and 100 plus nail-biting, loyally cheering, TV-watching beer-swilling Boulder fans…and we watched as Hosea Rosenberg took home the win in Top Chef‘s finale on Bravo TV. It’ll be all over the Rocky Mountain News and Daily Camera tomorrow, as well as big news in national publications from coast-to-coast.

 Photo: Shannon McNeeley!

Hosea, longtime chef at ever-popular Jax, wins 100,000 bucks and a feature in Food & Wine—and now we can look forward to various culinary endeavors, including a new restaurant and, perhaps, an organic line of something-or-other that we can buy in Whole Foods, etc.

But most importantly—beyond signing autographs and having cameras and mics stuck in his face all night—beyond taking home the title of Top Chef in a nationally televised, avidly-followed competition that stretched out over months and saw seemingly countless of the world’s best young chefs get eliminated in round after round—beyond the $100,000 bucks and the promise of a great new restaurant in Hosea’s near-future—is the fact that Hosea won because…he was Hosea.

He was himself. He was a gentleman,without being weak. He was strong, without being arrogant. He was funny, and generous, romantic and passionate—and the judges came to both like and trust him and his food. 

In the finale’s final panel, the two words that came up that differentiated Hosea from, on the one hand, his classically-trained competitor Stefan, and on the other hand the heartfelt underdog Carla on the other—the two words that the judges decided distinguished Hosea were, one, “thoughtfulness.” And, two, “soul.” Hosea himself said he’d prepared a meal that was true to who he was.

I look forward to dining at Hosea’s own mindful, genuine restaurant for years to come—and I thank him, on behalf of all of Boulder, for doing us proud—and ably representing our little city/big town to the whole wide world.

Click above for Hosea’s blog on winning Top Chef.

Videos at bottom.


Via Roger Catlin: 

Carla Hall seemed to be surging at the end of fifth season of “Top Chef,” winning the challenge in the first half of the New Orleans finale and wowing judges with the first dishes of her final meal.

But in the end it was Hosea Rosenberg, 35, executive chef of Jax Fish House in Boulder, who won the $100,000 and the title, edging out Hall and his only other competition, the haughty Finn Stefan Richter, 35 of Santa Monica.

His final three course meal, with an added hors d’oeuvres challenge, was judged to be “steady across the board” while Stefan had “many highs and some lows.” And while Hall’s found was hailed for her soul, she didn’t recover from boiling a soufflé that would top off her meal. Choosing not to serve it at all made her dish look empty.

Hosea set described himself as an underdog among two other contestants, who already owned their own business. “It would suck to go home without the title,” he said. But Hall said she felt like the underdog among the two males.

Hosea had an edge from the time he won first choice among runners-up of past seasons of the show to help them in their task. His pick was Richard Blais from season four, 

Stefan chose Marcel Vigneron of season two, whom he called “a great chef” but “a bit of a twat” (which wasn’t bleeped, oddly). And Casey Thompson of season three joined Carla.

Hosea also got first dibs on the protein for the meal, and the power to pick it for others (he gave Stefan the alligator, which he turned into a pretty good soup anyway).

“It felt amazing  to win but to have it come down neck with Stefan just made it all that sweeter,” Rosenberg said. “This is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life.”

Videos via Hulu:

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