The eighth season of the American reality television series Food Network Star premiered Sunday, May 13, 2012 and consisted of 11 episodes. The format for the eighth season changed to three 5-member teams, each coached by a Food Network host — Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, or Giada De Laurentiis. The members of each team were also announced on the Food Network website. Also this season, viewers have the opportunity to follow the show or their favorite team on Twitter.
This week's challenge is a food tour of New York! The finalists are split into three teams and will each take a busload of tourists on a tour of three different New York neighborhoods. How entertaining are they? What landmarks will they highlight? How much food knowledge do they impart? Then each finalist will have to prepare and serve a dish to the judges based on the research they do in the neighborhoods.
The 13 remaining finalists meet Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Scott Conant, and Marc Murphy and are given their Star Challenge: desserts. But it's not just any dessert challenge. Each team must use a basket of ingredients to create their best sweet concoction in a head-to-head inter-team battle -- Chopped style!
Bland dishes receive makeovers during New York Fashion Week. Ted Allen is a guest judge.
The hopefuls film TV specials based on holidays or special events, with Season 2 winner Guy Fieri providing feedback.
Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian challenges the 10 remaining hopefuls to feed 150 hungry shoppers in a food-court challenge that requires them to cook in a kiosk and incorporate a surprise mystery ingredient into their dishes.
Nine hopefuls remain, and they're tested on how well they can handle themselves under pressure. First, they film their own promotional videos with no help from their producers. Then, a panel of journalists grills each of them, asking tough questions about their techniques, their personal backgrounds and the show they want to bring to the Food Network.
The remaining eight go to the Miami South Beach Wine & Food Festival, where Paula Deen is hosting a summer beach party, to cook up the meal. Each chef creates a sophisticated adult dish and a kid-friendly version.
The 7 remaining contestants are challenged to do a three-minute live cooking demo at the South Beach Wine Food Festival. They must create their signature dish and demo one step of it to a live audience and the Selection Committee. There is a twist, however; each demo is set up to have some sort of problem meant to test the contestants' main weaknesses. The bottom two people will be up for elimination.
The finalists star in promos; four make the cut.