Over the course of season 5 on Bravo’s Top Chef, Hosea Rosenberg had several challenges to contend with—and not just the show’s Quickfire and Elimination Challenges, which determine who stays and who leaves on each episode of the breakout-hit reality cooking show. Hosea had to battle his talented fellow contestants on “Team Euro”: fan favorite Fabio Vivani of Italy and Stefan Richter of Finland, who took his intimidating attitude all the way to the finals. He also had to face the consequences of kissing another contestant, Leah Cohen, one night while the television cameras were rolling. But the Boulder, Colorado–based cook had an additional, even more serious issue to deal with: Just before the show began filming last summer, he learned that his father had lung cancer.
“After I told Hosea I had cancer, I asked him to drive me to a radiation treatment in Colorado Springs,” says Hosea’s father, Ed Rosenberg. “Then he got confirmation that he would be on the show. He said that if I needed him, he would stay. I said, ‘Go!’ ”
Hosea loves repeating his father’s credo: “Be sure what you do makes you smile.” While Hosea was growing up in Taos, New Mexico, Ed held several jobs, including stints as a carpenter and a bread baker. He has been happiest as a folk musician, though: He’s played with a local group, the Crestone Mountain String Band, for as long as Hosea can remember.