Poll: Who Was the Best Mentor?

by in Food Network Star, July 19, 2012

Alton, Giada and Bobby - Food Network StarWhen it comes to mentoring, Bobby’s, Alton’s and Giada’s styles couldn’t be more different. In the season premiere, we learned what each was looking for when they hand-picked their teams of five Food Network Star hopefuls: Bobby sought out no-nonsense cooks, Alton culinary teachers and Giada outgoing personalities. As the season continued, it turned out that the mentors’ selection criteria mirrored their own leadership styles.

Bobby found it most effective to maintain a professional relationship with his team and to tailor his instruction to each individual's needs. He spoke of his approach to the other mentors in an exclusive video. “I really try to bounce off the people that I’m mentoring, because I feel like they sort of drive me to the way I’m going to mentor and what I’m going to actually utilize to help them,” he said in Miami.

Alton’s natural teaching ability came to light in the midseason of the competition when he held one-on-one reviews with his finalists, offering them constructive criticism and tips on how to improve. Justin found his meeting extremely helpful and said that Alton was “one the most effective teachers I’ve ever had.”

Though Bobby and Alton primarily focused on training their finalists, Giada strived to create a family-like atmosphere on her team, offering motherly advice when her hopefuls needed it most. Yvan was especially grateful for Giada's guidance after he gave a successful live performance with Guy Fieri. He said of his mentor, "It's funny how a producer can really get the best out of you. It's like a mom. They know what you need even when you don't."

No mentor’s method was completely foolproof — all three teams having suffered losses — but finalists on each team achieved winning moments both in the kitchen and on camera. If they could repeat the season, do you think Bobby, Alton and Giada would choose to mentor in the same way?

Check out this behind-the-scenes video of Alton, Bobby and Giada comparing their mentoring styles and discussing the pros and cons of their approaches to the season.

Tell us: Who do you think was the best mentor?

Be sure to tune in to the finale on Sunday at 9pm/8c to see who you chose to be Food Network’s newest star.

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Comments (458)

  1. hodayah says:

    i loved Justin. Alton was the best mentor!

  2. Mel says:

    I hope the network is paying attention and realizes it's time to chop giada. she's actually offensive as well as shallow and a self-absorbed.

  3. Gayle Garcia says:

    I think Bobby Flay is so stuck up and thinks he's to good for regular people. I like Giada, she is warm and friendly. Alton is good. He showed a caring side of him. I love my Robert Ervine and Restuarant Imposible is great to watch. We didn't need another one and es
    pecially with with Flay.

  4. Maggie says:

    I have watched Giada for years and have enjoyed everyday Italian, I really didn't like her travel show
    But I was looking forward to watching her on NFS.
    After the first episode I had to dvr the show because she was unwatchable, she was unprofessional she, came off as a teenaged girl with favorite pets(-And no jealousy involved here), but her dresses were inappropriate .She is a beautiful women with skinny legs, and short short skirts do nothing for her. One day she wore an Normal length of dress so I watch on until she started jumping around cheering(again, unwatchable)
    Hopefully someone like Alex will mentor next year!
    If it is bobby and Giada again. I will not watch

    • Jimmy B says:

      It should be Bobby, Alton and Rachel Ray. That would be good for next season. I'll still be okay if Giada is a mentor though.

  5. Jimmy B says:

    Alton - The best mentor by far. He makes sure that each contestant knows who they are and why.

    Bobby - Okay. He did a good job mentoring, but a bad therory of picking his team. Bobby picked it 100% cooking when it should be 50% cooking, 50% presentation.

    Giada - The worst out of the other two, but a little under-rated. She did a good job mentoring when Ippy was at his 1st producoe's challenge, and a good job with Linkie when she got emotional. IDK why she picked Josh though. He jumps on a table and "he was memorable and he wowwed me." Though his pov is good, I have no idea why Giada picked him.