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.

More posts from .

Similar Posts

A Letter to Lenny, from the Rebel

Dear Lenny, Out of all the seasons of Food Network Star, I can think of only one other winner who has a personality as big as yours. Congratulations a...

Comments (458)

  1. barbara says:

    Alton. He was the only one that actually mentored, at least on camera. I agree with Sumay that Ippy could and maybe should have won, if his mentor had showed him how to make his laid-back personality seem like a plus instead of a minus. (But I guess if "the Network" thinks that Giada has a great personality, maybe it's impossible for someone like Ippy, with a genuine sunny personality, to get onto the network.) I hope Ippy gets a show on PBS, which has started to have some excellent cooking shows.

  2. Grace says:

    Alton, for sure!!

  3. guest says:

    This format was SO VERY BAD, and then there were the over-the -top "look at me" Giada and Bobby----could she have been more usless, less helpful and had even shorter skirts??? Get a clue, you're not 16!! And Bobby, totally blah, totally clueless about helping---he always sounded bored instead of cheering on his team!!

    NO MORE STUPID MENTOR CRAP!!!!!! AND PICK SOMEONE WITH TALENT---not that creepy, Justin person!!

    • hjuk says:

      like you have any talent so shut and he is not creepy you are i agree a bout giada thought

  4. myra says:

    Food Fan said "The people *dont* want story-telling. Many of them have written and said so. We are wondering why the judges want them so much when so many viewers are sick of them."

    I can't agree enough. I don't want to hear stories. Teach me about the food. Give me accurate information about what you're cooking.

    I did not like the mentoring idea, but perhaps it was because it was so painful to watch Giada's annoying theatrics. I can't even watch her cooking show now. Funny that the one "mentor", Alton, that doesn't actually cook (he was a video producer when he came up with the the idea for "Good eats") is rated the best. He did select most of the good candidates, with the exception of Martie, and had the good sense not to try and change them into drones.

    I have to wonder which contestant the "Network" would have chosen. I'm pretty sure it would not have been Justin.

  5. Cathy says:

    Alton was the best mentor and the last 3 finalists should have been Justin, Martie and Ippy. I hated the fact that the powers that be felt that they had to have one finalist from each team instead of the best three people. I also hated the fact that the judges didn't get that Ippy's laid-back-ness was his POV. I would have watched that show.

  6. Yvonne says:

    Martie, Had a great personality but she was not a true Chef and you could see that throughout the show! She was not a really experience cook she always made simple meals. I'm a Chef myself and you could kinda tell she did not have that much experience cooking. All though she is a great girl she really didn't have it I'm surprised she made it this far into the contest. Not trying to be mean but just voicing my opinion.I like Martie as a person, but she could use a little more work on her cooking. But I do commend her for being on TV and facing America I know that wasn't easy at all .Justin however you could see the passion that he had for food it was very obvious. Great Cook! Great Chef! Great food! You go Justin I wish you nothing but the best of luck!!! Looking forward to seeing your show on Food Network. God Bless!!!

    • wifey231 says:

      Chef Yvonne,

      It's awesome that you are a "true Chef," and I'm happy for you, but 99% of people who watch Food Network are not "chefs," either. There is nothing wrong with simple meals; those are the meals that I -- and many others -- am most likely to try to replicate at home. I was no huge Marti fan, but I'm not knocking her because she wasn't a "chef," rather, she just seemed to be more of the same that we already have from Food Network. Justin was great because his cooking style is refreshing and interesting and he's just freaking fun to look at!

      • Guest says:

        What I liked about Martie was that she had a passion for what she was doing - she really loved it and loved sharing it with us. I saw a lot of "good cooks" on Bobby's team - but I really didn't care for their personalities - especially after seeing the final show. I'd rather have a decent cook teach me how to cook foods they love than an arrogant person who knows cooking but believes they are above everyone else.

  7. @barbv30 says:

    I was so happy Justin won. Alton did such a good job with all of his team. He truely felt bad when someone was eliminated. Bobby was good and helpful with his team but Giada was so phony and fake. Giada had favorites and you could tell. Alton kept his team together and helped EVERYONE not just a few chosen. I cannot wait to see Justin's show. I love his personality and really enjoy the way he makes cooking fun. I will definately be watching. Good Luck Justin!!!!

  8. **essence** says:

    I am so happy Justin Warner won the competition! My only remorse is I think Foodnetwork could uses more new shows. I am so tired of reruns of 3D's and Chop. Really three more shows would be awesome. Marty with her party theme, Michelle in New England, Ivan with family theme, I do hope you would consider their shows also?

  9. wifey231 says:

    Alton was incredibly masterful at choosing unique, interesting chefs. I think he was great with his team, and it was obvious from day 1 that someone from Alton's team would probably win (i.e., Justin or Emily). Bobby was also a very good mentor, but I think he chose personalities that have that New York edge that can turn a lot of people off. I very much disliked Bobby in his early years on Food Network, but he has come a long way, and he's one of my favs now.

  10. Pete Daniels says:

    They were all great, each had strengths and weaknesses but overall provided entertainment and good team building. I think you got the format right and I enjoyed the removal of the grating and back-biting that was engendered in the old format.