A no-nonsense first challenge, a surprise 13th finalist and a pan set ablaze in the kitchen — Sunday's Food Network Star premiere was full of flare-ups and near meltdowns that kept the competitors guessing at every turn. But while the action was unfolding on-screen, there was no shortage of antics taking place behind the scenes either. Check out these insider photos from the set to see what the cast, mentors and crew were up to between takes, and find out what it takes to make this show possible.
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You see the challenges and deliberations, and you watch intently as the Comeback Kitchen mentors deliver the news of elimination. But what happens when the cameras stop rolling? For an all-access look at what goes down on set between takes, browse these brand-new photos of the Comeback Kitchen premiere from inside Food Star Kitchen.
When the finalists started their Star journeys, the expansive hallowed halls of Food Star Kitchen were surely overwhelming and downright intimidating. But by the time the remaining rivals entered the arena Sunday night, eight weeks into the competition, they were surely (hopefully) well-accustomed to the surroundings, familiar with the kitchen's offerings and prepared to execute two challenges within its walls.
Star Talk was on set during the filming of Food Network Star, Season 11, and we checked in with the show's crew to find out more about how this over-the-top culinary workhorse was created. This massive set — a whopping 95 feet by 100 feet — took the team a day and a half to build, and it's outfitted with two kitchen spaces, multiple ovens, cooktops and refrigerators, plus an expansive pantry. Inside this alcove is where the finalists shop for their dry goods as well as secure the tools they may need for a particular cooking challenge. From grains and flour to oils, pots, pans and spatulas, it's all arranged neatly on dozens of shelves.
Read on below to see more exclusive snapshots inside Food Star Kitchen, and hear from the show's culinary producer, Dave, about what it takes to make the cooking challenges possible.
An action-packed episode complete with two trendsetting challenges and a duo of special guests judges, Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian, this past Sunday's episode saw no shortage of tense moments for the finalists — or slimy, stinky and incendiary flavors, as far as the dinner party dishes were concerned. But no matter the finalists' nerves or the Committee's task of sending home another rival, most on set managed to crack a few smiles between takes. In keeping with the episode's trend of taking photos, Sunny and Geoffrey posed for a quick shot behind the scenes — though it likely wasn't posted on social media.
Keep reading below for more insider snapshots.
Mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are known for their go-big-or-go-home approaches to the Food Network Star competition, so it was no surprise when they not only tasked the finalists with an impromptu spotlight challenge in the premiere episode, but also a next-level cooking test. The cooking challenge sent rivals out of Food Star Kitchen and on location to a food festival, where they had to prepare signature eats for a crowd of 100 people. It takes quite a feat to pull off both the in-studio production and the taping at Triunfo Vineyards, located in the picturesque setting of the Malibu mountains, for an episode like this; below are never-before-seen photos from both sets. Keep scrolling for an insider's look at the making of the premiere and to see what the cast was up to between takes, then check out the full behind-the-scenes gallery for more snapshots.
If you've seen an episode of Star Salvation, you probably know that it takes much more time to actually film one episode than the 10 to 13 minutes that is shown on FoodNetwork.com. So what happens to all that lost footage?
Click play on the video above to watch the hilarious cuts that didn't make it on the Web series.
It takes dozens of crew members to pull off a production as large as Food Network Star, no matter if the show is being filmed in a studio or on location. This week the show traveled to Las Vegas. Unlike when taping in Food Star Kitchen, the production team had to deal with outside elements, like the weather (which turned out to be pretty windy during Episode 7).
Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make Food Network Star and go inside the finalists' challenges with weekly memorable moments galleries like the one from the premiere. The photos below didn't make the gallery, but Star Talk fans can get a glimpse of the mentors and Selection Committee when the director yells, "Cut!"
Just like their culinary points of view, Food Network Star finalists' wardrobes are unique to their individual tastes and styles. You've likely noticed Lovely, the ever-glam personal chef, rocking a red leopard-print blouse and silver-sequined sweater, and "Pie Man" Rodney is always sporting his signature fedora. But have you seen the printed t-shirts Chris has been donning? He's worn several in the last four weeks of the competition, and while they look like everyday graphic tees, they indeed hold meaning to him.
As a chef and restaurant owner in Cleveland, Chris is a figure of his local community, and he's largely responsible for bringing the mobile food culture to Cleveland, having founded Dim and Den Sum, the city's first food truck. He's now the owner of a second food truck, plus a brick-and-mortar hot spot in Cleveland, so it's no surprise that his themed shirts showcase his hometown pride. In episode 2's Burger Bash, he wore a shirt screened with "216," the city's area code. Later in the episode, he modeled a white pull-over with the phrase "Cleveland: It's 'One More' Louder." For the following week's mystery ingredient challenge, he opted for a black-and-white number that read "Clvlnd," a shorthand take on the city.
Episode 3 brought the contestants back to the set of Star, but this time they were tasked to cook in Food Star Kitchen. Cooking in a kitchen that isn't your own can be a tough mission. Where are the gadgets? What's in the pantry? Take a tour of the Food Network Star set below, set in sunny California at The Culver Studios in Culver City.