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!"
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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.
After arriving at The Culver Studios Mansion to find an array of ground meats, plus various cheeses, buns and condiments, the contestants weren't surprised when the mentors revealed this week's challenge to be burger-themed. They had one hour to prepare a signature burger, which they demoed in front of a 100-person audience. Browse these behind-the-scenes photos to see the mansion up close, the pantry outside of Star Kitchen and what it looks like when the cameras are turned.
Each episode of Star takes hours to tape, so it's no surprise that not every moment and reaction is captured in the 60 minutes fans get to see on air. Every week, Star Talk will give readers an insider's look at what goes down on the set of Food Network Star — from the judges to the contestants to the environments in which they cook and present.
The newest season of Star kicked off this past Sunday night, and along with 12 new contestants, there are a couple of new features added to the show that may be unfamiliar to fans. This handy little guide should help navigate you through the next 10 weeks of competition.
Challenges: This season there are two different challenges that can occur in each episode. If an episode includes a Mentor Challenge, that means Alton, Bobby and/or Giada will help guide the finalists through that day's events. The mentors will share their advice and raise any possible concerns they may have. After the Mentor Challenge, finalists will be faced with a Star Challenge. This can consist of cooking demonstrations or presenting to a focus group.
Finalists: This year the mentors are tasking 12 hopefuls with weekly challenges in the ultimate multi-month interview for the chance to earn their dream television job. The contestants bring with them a mix of backgrounds, including culinary school, restaurant management, private chef and food blogging.
The quest to become the next Food Network Star is no ordinary competition, and as the show enters its ninth season, the challenges are getting more grueling and the expectations more demanding. And now fans can experience Star like never before. IntoNow from Yahoo! is teaming up with Food Network to bring fans an interactive second screen-viewing experience for the upcoming season of Food Network Star.
Each Sunday at 9pm/8c starting this week, on June 2, and running through Aug. 11, you can discover exclusive content by tagging Food Network Star using the IntoNow mobile app. Through IntoNow’s TV Sync feature you can follow along with the episode for exclusive quotes from the judges, behind-the-scenes photos and recipes, as well as participate in live polling and trivia with fellow IntoNow users and Food Network fans.
Can you CapIt? Fans can add a caption to their favorite moments from every episode and share them online by creating memes on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and reddit. You can also create chat groups with friends.
To put this exciting and exhausting journey in perspective, take a look back through the finalists’ scrapbooks from the competition. Upon arrival in L.A., each contender was given a Food Network journal and a digital camera. We compiled their best pages and photos to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the unique experience of each Star finalist.
Who filled page after page with heartfelt reflections? Who drew lifelike sketches of their dishes and who wrote meticulous prep lists? Who took hilarious snapshots in the Star house? Flip through the pages of the finalists’ scrapbooks to see.
Jeff Mauro (Winner!)
This week’s challenge brought something totally different to the Star set. Usually the finalists are trying to impress Food Network stars – members of the elite club that they’re vying to join. The surprise guests for the Roast were stars from the comedy world: Anthony Anderson, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Louie Anderson and Aubrey Plaza. This impressive panel of comedians — faces you may recognize from stand-up, movies and television — was tasked with making fun of the finalists to see who could roll with the punches and take themselves a little less seriously.
Check out our behind-the-scenes footage of these funny men and women answering questions like “What would be your Food Network show?”
More Star Extras:
This week’s episode featured two Food Network superstars: the queen of 30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray, and the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. Needless to say, it was an intimidating double-whammy for the finalists. Whitney got so emotional upon seeing Ina – the woman who taught her to cook – that she burst into tears. Susie wanted so badly to impress and emulate Rachael that she let her nerves get the better of her.
Tell us: Who would you rather cook for, Rachael or Ina?