The 12 Food Network Star Finalists hit Los Angeles running, tasked with making an introductory video for the food festival being held the following day, where they will serve their signature dish. Along with Mentors Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay, their dishes and presentations will be judged by Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson, joined by People Magazine's JD Heyman.
The Finalists are tested on their adaptability in the two challenges today. First, they create inspiring dishes using leftovers, which they present to Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and guest judge Melissa d'Arabian. Then, they serve and present a savory dish inspired by the world of desserts to five of the country's finest pastry chefs. Guest Judge Alex Guarnaschelli will help Giada and Bobby determine which Finalist will be going home.
It's all about keeping up with the latest food trends when the Finalists first create and photograph their own version of tiny foods, and then create a five-course meal where each course corresponds to a buzzword. The Kitchen's Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian join Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay to decide which Finalist failed to trend.
The Finalists are split into teams of three, tasked with creating and presenting a cohesive menu to a crowd of hungry families at a 4th of July cookout. Guest judge Bobby Deen joins Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay to determine which team is safe, and which Finalist will be sent home.
In the Mentor Challenge, the Finalists' favorite ingredients are swapped with that of another Finalist for a dish they prepare for Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. Then, they arrive at Patina Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles where they are paired up to collaborate on a dish that blends their culinary styles, presenting that dish to first-time daters from Match. Anne Burrell and Joachim Splichal, Master Chef of Patina Group, join Giada and Bobby at the judging table.
In the Mentor Challenge, the Finalists are tasked with creating and presenting an enticing pizza with kicked-up flavors for Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and guest judges Duff Goldman and Darin Harris, CEO of CiCi's Pizza. In the Star Challenge, Bobby and guest David Alan Grier randomly assign each Finalist several criteria for their dishes, which they'll present in a demo for a crowd filled with food and comedy fans. Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman assist Giada and Bobby in eliminating the least successful Finalist.
In their first challenge, the Finalists create and present a portable version of their favorite brunch dish to Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. Then, guest judge Richard Blais pairs the Finalists into teams, who create a social media promo video for their own food trucks. These videos will be shown to food truck enthusiasts, who will get food from the truck they most want to taste.
With a focus on their lifestyle brands, the Finalists first create and present a dish that a home cook can prepare in 30 to 45 minutes. Then, they cook and film a video for a dish that reflects a holiday through their culinary point of view. Damaris Phillips serves as guest director for their video presentations, and then joins Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman at the judging table.
The Finalists learn that there are no second takes in live TV in this week's challenges. After cooking and demoing a dish based on an assigned theme, the Finalists cook a dish and host their own segment of a live ensemble show. The Kitchen's Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee assist Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay in determining which Finalist had the worst performance.
The winner of Star Salvation rejoins the competition, and the remaining four Finalists each choose a sous chef from the eliminated contestants to help them cook the best dish of their lives. Following their presentations, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman will determine which three Finalists will get to film pilots directed by special guest Rachael Ray.
The final three are joined by the nine eliminated Finalists to view their pilots, along with Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman. After the screening, the Selection Committee deliberates, and Brooke Johnson, President of Food Network, announces the winner of Food Network Star!