“Ask A Chef” is part of an on-going series in which we pose a single question to a local luminary.

For this installment, we sought out Top Chef Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg of Boulder. Rosenberg, who earned his degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado before turning to cooking full time, got his start working for Wolfgang Puck. By the time Rosenberg appeared on Top Chef, he was working as the executive chef at Jax Fish House in Boulder. He has since left the restaurant to travel and pursue other opportunities, including launching Blackbelly Catering in 2011.

5280: How has winning Top Chef changed the course of your career?

HR: Drastically and significantly. It changed everything—it gave me national and international exposure, and it opened up a lot of doors to cook with chefs across the globe and to go to fabulous events all over. Business-wise, it increased consumer count enormously. Before I was on [the show], Jax Fish House was a pretty busy place, but after it, it was crazy busy. And even today, winning has helped me with my business [Blackbelly Catering].

The advice I would give [future contestants] is to be really careful about what you do and know what you really want out of [the show]…. You may make a mistake early on and get kicked off—all after you built up the excitement of being on the show and getting picked. I mean, there can only be one winner. It’s a risk, and people have to be aware of it. I believe that it can hurt as well as help careers.

—Photo courtesy of Blackbelly Catering