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. JSA says:

    The season finale was a monumental waste of time. You could've done 30 minutes and spared the losers begin bored and dragged through their losses. Justin rules.

  2. Donna says:

    Alton obviously, since two of his wanta-bee's were selected for pilots, that's a big no brainer-DUH!

  3. Silas says:

    Alton was sooooooooooooooooo the best.

  4. Sue says:

    I was waiting for the episode where Giada kissed Martita smack on the lips. She was that in love with her. And all she could continue to say to Ippy was, "You're too laid back." Of course, he was laid back! That was his POV and his personality! The very thing that came to him naturally and would have attracted viewers is what Giada and the judges were begging the other contestants to come up with and pull out of themselves. The team thing forced choices that may not have otherwise been made. The long and boring finale should have been Ippy and Justin. Justin probably still would have won, bu do yourselves a favor Food Network and invite Ippy back to do his show.

  5. beckyfl says:

    Aside from the fact that I am a HUGE Alton fan, I really do think he was the best mentor. He can be snotty sometimes, but he is fair. He did a good job with his team, teaching, leading and molding them.

  6. Kate says:

    I liked Justin and Team Alton from week one! Cannot wait to see Justin's show! Justin is the next Alton Brown! Alton has always been my favorite and he is the reason I am hooked on Food Network. Now maybe Justin will be my new fav!

  7. EM2021 says:

    I love all the mentors the same they were all upbeat their team winning.

  8. Len says:

    Giada is so in love with herself that it is a real turn off. Please tell her to wear some professional clothing and flash the boobs elswhere. She is a fake from the top of her head down to her 5 inch heels. She cannot mentor because she has no real food knowledge. I would rather watch Lidia Bastianich cook real Italian food and maybe I would learn something.
    Alton was great although had moments where he was too abrupt with his pupils.
    PLEASE put a show on the food network with real people cooking food the vast majority of us would want to eat and be able to cook in a reasonable amount of time. Goat cheese and arugala does not make it for most of us!

  9. buildfutureenergy says:

    yay Alton, yay Justin!!! Alton, you are the Iron Chef of Mentors. you are who you are and that is what's cool. Justin, make sure to stay true to who you are. albeit the contracts & fame & money, never forget that please. thanks Food Network, the fans are totally spot on!

  10. Alex says:

    I think Alton & Giada where the best mentors. Bobby made a huge mistake for picking his teams for thier cooking skills. I am so happy that Justin won! I can't wait to watch his show!