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."