You heard it here first: The search for the next Food Network Star is officially on. Beginning Sunday, June 4 at 9|8c, your favorite mentor-judge duo of Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will join forces once again in the hopes of discovering that special someone with the sought-after combo of expert culinary chops and captivating on-camera charm. Easy to do? Hardly. And that goes for both Bobby and Giada's job, as well as this multi-week job interview for which 12 hopeful finalists have signed up.
While Bobby and Giada are once again tasked with discerning the first flickers of Star power from among the cast of Season 13 competitors, those same hopeful contestants will be subject to the mentors' unpredictable tests. In the kitchen, in a fancy dining room, in the woods, on the web and seemingly everywhere in between — that's where Bobby's and Giada's challenges will take the rivals this season as they endeavor to join the ranks of Stardom. To succeed on Food Network Star, these finalists must be able to hook the viewers watching them — no matter if the audience is watching TV at home or scrolling through their phones on the go — and leave them wanting more of both their personalities and their food.
This year, like in years past, the competitors must prove their culinary savvy and likeability to not only Bobby and Giada, but also a rotating roster of expert guests. Expect to see famous faces like Robert Irvine, Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli alongside ESPN anchors Jemele Hill and Jaymee Sire, and digital sensation Hannah Hart. Each of these guests will bring a unique piece of industry expertise, and it's that on-the-job advice and real-world instruction that will ultimately help finalists as they advance in the competition.
Before the Food Network Star journey begins, seven former finalists, each of previously eliminated from a past season of Food Network Star, will face off for the chance to join the Season 13 cast. Comeback Kitchen, once again hosted by Tyler Florence and Valerie Bertinelli, premieres Sunday, May 21 at 8|7c, and like last year's showdown, it aims to reveal the one hopeful whose growth and potential is worthy of a second chance. Though these finalists will have experienced the sting of rejection before, they'll also be familiar with the format of the contest, which will surely make the winner stiff competition for their rivals when he or she enters the Food Network Star stage on the Season 13 premiere.
Here on FoodNetwork.com, we're gearing up for a jam-packed summer of Star, which includes a brand-new iteration of the web series Star Salvation. Beginning immediately after Episode 4 of Food Network Star, on June 25, mentors Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro will host this online-only competition and give this season's ousted hopefuls a shot at redemption. After six weeks of intense culinary and camera challenges, one finalist will earn the right to begin their Star journey again and rejoin the Season 13 competition.
So, are you ready to meet this year's finalists? Get to know all 12 of the Season 13 competitors here.
Mark your calendars for the premiere of Food Network Star on Sunday, June 4 at 9|8c.