The Next Food Network Star is a reality television series produced by and aired on the Food Network in the United States which awards the winner his or her own series on the Food Network.
Twelve Food Network Star hopefuls arrive at the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles, hoping for their big break. Upon their arrival, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay greet them with some troubling news: they have to pass one more big audition before they will officially be considered finalists. But that’s not all, there is one more person joining the competition, and that’s the winner of Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen. Special guests Robert Irvine and Monti Carlo help Giada and Bobby decide who will be the first competitor sent home.
The finalists host a party celebrating Disney's live-action feature Beauty and the Beast. The finalists are divided into three teams, with each team drawing inspiration from one of the iconic rooms of the castle to decorate a serving station and cook up a dish before presenting to a ballroom full of party guests. Special guest Sandra Lee attends the event with Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay to help pick a winning team, then two finalists from the losing team are sent home.
The ten remaining finalists divide into two teams, with each team creating a five-course menu for an experiential restaurant. Diners will experience a completely different environment for each course, such as an appetizer in the jungle and a main course in the desert. Each finalist must also make a video menu describing their dish for the diners, who will select which one they want to taste. Special guest Tyler Florence dines with Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay and helps decide which finalist is sent home.
The remaining finalists are divided into teams and sent into the wilderness. When they arrive at a campsite, they must use whatever camping food is in the back of their cars to create a "glamping" meal. Each team will present their dishes to Giada De Laurentiis, along with guests Melissa d'Arabian and Andrew Zimmern, who will decide which finalist successfully elevated camping food to glamping dishes and gave the best tips for working with wilderness fare.
First, the finalists pair up and take on a typical shopping budget problem while creating an Instagram Story about their shopping trip, with special guest Hannah Hart helping Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay judge their efforts. Then it's time for Sunny Anderson to hit the Food Network Star kitchen, bringing several of her favorite problem-solving segments from The Kitchen for the finalists to perform in front of a studio audience.
It's halfway through the competition, so it's time for midterms! Each of the remaining seven finalists must make their best potato dish and overcome the one thing in the competition that has been holding them back. Then it's time to celebrate summer with Tiffani Thiessen, who helps Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay judge the finalists' efforts as they each host a summer social gathering for a crowd of people in a park.
The finalists take on the hit Food Network show, Beat Bobby Flay! In the first round of cooking, the finalists go head-to-head to determine who will take on the master himself, Bobby Flay, in round two. Anyone who can beat Bobby is safe from elimination, but those who are not up to the challenge may lose their spot in the competition. Special guest Anne Burrell helps determine which finalist will not be moving on.
The finalists must try their hand at something big, taking their inspiration from Josh Denny and his hit Food Network show, Ginormous Food. Then, it's time for the up-to-the-minute trend of live cooking while streaming on social media. Each finalist streams their take on a start-to-finish 15-minute weeknight meal while viewers cook along. Surprise guest Alex Guarnaschelli provides feedback on the finalists' performances as Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay send one more finalist on their way.
The four remaining finalists try their hand at reporting live on location by visiting popular food trucks while Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and special guest Sabin Lomac watch from the studio. Then, it's time for each finalist to partake in their own segment of a special called "Up Your Game (Day)," performing a demo of a special game-day dish while also tackling surprises along the way. ESPN's Jemele Hill and special guest Jaymee Sire watch the special with Bobby and Giada to help decide which finalist goes down in defeat.
The three remaining finalists are in for a shock when they learn that a previously eliminated finalist is reentering the competition after winning Star Salvation on FoodNetwork.com. With the help of former finalists, the last four competitors must cook the dish of their lives for the privilege of making a pilot. Former Food Network Star winner Eddie Jackson is back to help select the three finalists, who then shoot pilots directed by none other than Guy Fieri!
It all comes down to the final week, as Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay watch the Food Network pilots for the three finalists. Watch what happens behind the scenes of Food Network Star, and then find out who joins the Food Network family and is crowned the newest Food Network star!