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. Altonfan98 says:

    Alton Brown was by far the best mentor all Giada did was focus on Martita who had zero camera skills and Ippy who was too laid back the only decent one on her team was Yvan, but even he didn't compare to Justin (my favorite) or Martie. Michelle is just plain weird and nikkie is too serious all in all the right decision was made. Congratulations Justin Warner. All Giada is this this sappy fake smiling fool who need to leave the network

  2. Anon says:

    I wish both of them could have won, so badly.

  3. hjuk says:

    giada was simply trying to impress for her own reputation

  4. tony says:

    Another vote for AB. But I have to give bobby a lot of credit tonight in the finale tonight when he said "This is the food network, it's about cooking. Sometimes we forget that" and he was dead on with the early elimination of eric.

  5. Sheron says:

    Giada was a "Missy Prissy" as far as I could tell. The faces, the too short skirts and her lack of mentoring. I lost all interest in watching her after this season. Alton and Bobby did a great job. I really didn't care too much for any of the contestants but I am glad for Jason. He is who I would have chosen from the beginning.

  6. Audrey says:

    Giada had to use this show as a way to show off her designer fashions and her body. She couldn't let the contestants be the star of the show. I had to turn off the tv for the finale because I don't understand how a learning channel could suddenly be the "look at my leg and boobs" show. So tacky!

  7. LadyOpah says:

    At the beginning of the season, Alton was my least favorite mentor and I felt badly for those on his team. By the end, he was my favorite and I would have loved to be on his team!

    I think Alton's strategy for picking candidates was the best. I'm sure there are many excellent cooks out there but that doesn't mean that I want to watch them on TV or learn from them. FN Stars need to be able to teach and entertain and Alton was able to find those people. I did think that all the mentors mentored in the way that suited their team... But the direction Alton took did seem to be best.

    Also Bob and Susie are one of my favorite parts of the show every year! You can tell that they genuinely care and they are always to gracious wIth their "constructive criticism". Furthermore I find that I agree with 99% of their comments and decisions - I would say they are the biggest reason I enjoy watching the show year after year - rock on, Bob and Susie. (Although I would have kept Eric over Ippy, but my husband loved Ippy, so we disagreed here too.)

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I will no longer be watching anything with Giada on it. When she first started on food network, I didn't like her at all. She finally warmed up and quit acting like a hag. She started getting full of herself on food network star and right after that I saw her as a chopped judge with Bobby and Alton. She has returned as the hag I cannot stand on the next food network star and chopped. It's my own fault. I never should have believe she had changed in the first place. She thinks her stuff doesn't stink and it does and it gets smellier all the time.

  9. Barb Kircher says:

    I thought the show ended rather abruptly last night, After weeks of intently watching, absorbing and anticipating, I believe the producers left a huge void in the program by not taking the viewers' perspective more in mind. In doing so, they missed an epic opportunity to embrace themselves more with their loyal audience by providing more details details regarding the final three decision. You would think that the following would be obvious to them... Why didn't they create more excitement by announcing the "3rd Place Winner" and the actual "viewer votes" that person received ?Then, create even more excitement by doing the same for the "2nd Place Winner"...and of course, the actual votes that Justin received? They really fumbled the ball!

  10. dale says:

    this format is terrible and unfair go back to original format.