What was your favorite thing about being on FNS? And your least favorite?
My favorite thing about NFNS was meeting great people that I probably would not have met had I not been on the show. My least favorite thing was getting up early and having to share a bathroom.
Other than the obvious, in what ways did winning change your life?
Winning changed my life by allowing me to cook food the way I like to cook it for a larger audience. I am excited by how many people share my passion for flavor.
What has been the greatest (unexpected) part of fame? Any downside?
Honestly, I don't feel like I am "famous." I'm still the same person I was before, so I haven't experienced any great surprises or disappointments.
What advice would you offer the next Star?
I would encourage the next Star to surround himself or herself with family and friends and always live within their means.
Do you keep in touch with other finalists?
I keep in touch with Adam Gertler, Shane Lyons, Lisa Garza and Kelsey Nixon. We text and e-mail one another just to say hello.
What was the funniest/coolest/weirdest (or worst!) incident to happen behind the scenes?
One of the worst/funniest incidents was when we all had to use the bathroom at the same time. We only had one bathroom for the guys and one for the girls, so we were fighting to be the next person to get in there.
When you look back, what would you have done differently?
The only thing I would change (oddly enough) is the purple sweater I wore in the finale — it made me feel like Barney!
What was the greatest lesson you learned from your time on FNS?
The greatest lesson I learned is to stay true to yourself and your culinary point of view.
What's your current favorite recipe, and why?
I enjoy all of my food, so it's hard to pick a favorite! A few that stand out from Big Daddy's House are the Inside Out Burger, Braised Pork Belly Sandwich with Pesto Mayo and the Valentine's Day meal I cooked for my mom.