The contestants competing this year are:
Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA), Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA), Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis), Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles), Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ), Eddie Jackson (Houston, Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA), Sita Lewis (New York), Alex McCoy (Washington DC), Arnold Myint (Nashville), Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).
Some of the changes this season:
- Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are the only regular mentors/judges this year. Alton Brown will not be on the show this year. I reported this in February and guessed it had to do with his live tour happening at the same time as filming.
- There will be guest judges helping out Bobby and Giada this year, such as: Sunny Anderson, Richard Blais, Anne Burrell, Melissa d'Arabian, Bobby Deen, Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian and comedian David Alan Grier.
- The web series Star Salvation is back where a competitor who wins will get to rejoin the competition. This year it is hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro.
- It appears that America will not get to vote for this years winner judging by the episode descriptions. The last two episodes are described as:
- "The winner of Star Salvation rejoins the competition, while the final four choose a sous chef from the eliminated contestants to help them cook the single best dish of their life. They each have one take to present the dish on-camera, and Bobby, Giada, Bob and Susie choose the final three that will each film a pilot directed by special guest Rachael Ray"
- "Season Finale - The nine eliminated finalists return to view the pilots along with Bobby, Giada, Susie and Bob. Each pilot is screened and after the selection committee deliberates, Food Network President Brooke Johnson announces the winner – the next Food Network Star."
- The press release says that the winner will receive their own Food Network show, but it also said that last year, and Lenny is no where to be seen. We probably know the reason why, so hopefully the Food Network properly vetted the contestants this year.
Below is a player that has a plenty of information on the season such as a video preview, photos of the contestants, bios on the contestants, and episode descriptions. I am sure some contestants have appeared on other shows and I may do a post on that in the future:
Press Release From Multivu is below:
FOOD NETWORK STAR BACK FOR ELEVENTH SEASON WITH FRESH CAST OF HOPEFULS COMPETING FOR CULINARY STAR-DOM
Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay Return as Mentors/Judges in Season Premiere on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PTWeb Exclusive Companion Series Star SalvationAlso Returns to FoodNetwork.com
Food Network competition series FOOD NETWORK STAR returns for an eleventh season this summer, with a cast of twelve talented hopefuls competing to become the next new face in food television. Food superstars Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back as mentors/judges, joined this season by a roster of top-notch special guests and judges. In the biggest audition of their lives, the finalists battle in a series of unique challenges designed to determine who has the personality, on-air charisma and cooking skills to win the ultimate prize - their own show on Food Network. Exclusive web series Star Salvation also returns, giving one eliminated contestant the opportunity to rejoin the competition. FOOD NETWORK STAR season eleven premieres on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT and the winner will be crowned in the season finale on Sunday, August 16th at 9pm ET/PT.
"Each season, our viewers love following the journey of FOOD NETWORK STAR contestants as they develop from aspiring newcomer to confident pro," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Food Network. "Having Giada and Bobby guide these finalists along is like watching a master class in food television."
The finalists are: Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA); Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA); Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis); Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles); Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ); Eddie Jackson (Houston); Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA); Sita Lewis (New York); Alex McCoy (Washington DC); Arnold Myint (Nashville); Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).
In the season premiere, the twelve hopefuls arrive in Los Angeles and are introduced to food icons Giada and Bobby. Each finalist must produce a 30-second introductory video and make their signature dish for a food festival to be held the next day. At the festival, attended by a crowd of Food Network fans, each video is screened and signature dish tasted by a judging panel including Giada, Bobby, Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman, and People Deputy Editor J.D. Heyman. For one finalist, their dream ends, while the remaining eleven continue on their journey. Upcoming episodes include a dazzling Fourth of July-themed celebration, intense food truck/social media challenge and do-or-die live television demo.
Special guests/judges this season include Food Network personalities Sunny Anderson, Richard Blais, Anne Burrell, Melissa d'Arabian, Bobby Deen, Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian and comedian David Alan Grier.
This season also features a fully-integrated, multi-platform partnership with Volkswagen, organically woven throughout the series and helping propel the competition. A FOOD NETWORK STAR contestant's success requires an uncompromised drive to stand out and shine, and having the right partners, tools and expert guidance allows this group to compete at the level they need to excel and, for one, to ultimately win.
Exclusive web series Star Salvation returns to FoodNetwork.com on Sunday, June 28th and goes live after FOOD NETWORK STAR east coast airing. Hosted by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and former FOOD NETWORK STAR winner Jeff Mauro, the six episode culinary competition gives eliminated finalists a chance to re-join the competition. The Star Salvation winner re-enters the competition on Sunday, August 9th.
Viewers wanting more can visit FoodNetwork.com/Star for exclusive interviews, photo galleries, blogs, behind-the-scenes footage, interactive quizzes and more. Fans can also connect with each other and the show's stars on Facebook at Facebook.com/FoodNetwork and on twitter with the hashtag #FoodNetworkStar.
Food Network Star is produced by LEG/Triage Entertainment.
FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and up to 35 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine's rate base has grown tenfold and is now the second largest monthly magazine on the newsstand, with over 11.6 million readers. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24-hour networks in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Europe, Middle East and AFRICA (EMEA) region. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com) and GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY (www.gactv.com), is the manager and general partner.