The Biggest Lesson Tiffani Faison Learned On Top Chef

Chef Tiffani Faison is a polarizing figure in the food world. She came in second place on the first season of the competition show "Top Chef," likely not the result she envisioned when she declared early on that she was there to win, not make friends (via Boston Magazine).

Her brash competitiveness certainly set her apart, although many "Top Chef" fans feel Season 1 went too far by turning her into the villain, potentially even taking a misogynistic turn in editing the show. When she returned for the show's All-Stars season, she worked hard to make things right. "I went on a 10-year apology tour trying to make sure people knew that I wasn't actually the second coming of Satan," she told OpenTable.

As Faison prepares to open several new restaurants in Boston (via Eater Boston), she's being heralded as the "undisputed queen of the Fenway restaurant scene," per Boston Magazine. That's a far cry from the runner-up no one liked on "Top Chef." But she did learn some lessons on the show and they seem to have stuck with her.

What Faison learned from competing on national television

In a conversation with Bravo TV, the Boston chef said she learned a very important lesson from her two seasons competing on "Top Chef."

"Don't take it all too seriously," she said. "Nothing is worth doing without it being fun and adding good things to your life. It's not that serious." After Season 1 of "Top Chef" aired and viewers formed their initial opinions of Faison, she said the realization that people viewed her so drastically different than she did herself was "hurtful and shocking."

In the conversation with OpenTable, Faison said that participating in the TV cooking competition encouraged her to become more self-critical and intentional. "I start...making sure that I'm living my life the way that I want, being good to the people I work with, and keeping my commitments," she said. With this perspective, Faison has not only kept her food-world friends but also demonstrated her fun side — like the time she joined a group of celebrity chefs in 'crashing' Guy Fieri's tribute dinner.

A lesson we can all take away from this — don't believe everything you see on reality TV.