updated 05/12/2011 AT 8:55 AM ET
•originally published 05/12/2011 AT 12:30 PM ET
Heidi Montag is no stranger to the spotlight. From opening up about plastic surgery to sharing her friend and relationship woes on The Hills, the reality starlet has been anything but shy when it comes to airing her drama.
Now, almost a year after the series finale of the show that made her a household name, Montag, 24, wants to take a different route to reality TV.
“From now on, I’m going to keep my life a little more private,” Montag told PEOPLE at the grand opening of Lemon Basket restaurant in West Hollywood, where she promoted her latest project, VH1’s Famous Food. “I think I was just doing The Hills for so long and I just needed a break [from Hollywood]. Plus, I enjoy my privacy.”
On Famous Food, Montag will appear alongside other familiar faces – including The Bachelor’s Jake Pavelka and Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Danielle Staub – as they re-launch the new restaurant.
“These people are a little bit older than me, so it’s different,” Montag says. “It’s been pretty crazy. It’s definitely different than [The Hills].”
And there is more to gain: “At the end of the process, one of us will end up with a stake [in Lemon Basket],” Pavelka told PEOPLE. “This isn’t TV to me. This is a show about us trying to open a restaurant. It’s just coincidental there are cameras there.”
But it’s still a TV show, and the attention suits the new, privacy-loving Montag just fine: “Everything’s good,” she said, refusing to comment on Spencer Pratt, her mom or any potential drama on the show. “I’m just kind of getting my feet back into Hollywood.”