Star Scrapbook: Havird Usry

Havird was the first finalist eliminated in Season 12 of Food Network Star. Relive the most-memorable moments from his time in the competition.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Havird Usry

A restaurant owner and chef from Georgia, Havird was the first finalist to fall in the competition after failing to present a clear message about his Southern POV. 

More: Havird Usry

From His Point of View

Each finalist was given a journal to use in the competition, and Havird filled his with the recipe he planned to make for the Star Challenge at the movie theater; on the page above, he outlined some of the copy he planned to say in his second-chance cold open. "I can't wait to bring Southern hospitality to your dinner table, your party and most importantly to your plate," he wrote.

Looking for More

Havird started his cold open by talking about being "passionate about farm-to-table Southern cuisine," but he struggled to be outgoing on camera, and he failed to use the full 30 seconds he was allotted. "The energy is incredibly important," Bobby reminded him. "You don't want to lull us to get sleepy."

Havird's South

"I think that this curried chicken salad will definitely differentiate myself from the rest of them," Havird explained, noting his plan to stand out from the slew of Southern cooks among the cast this year.

Handling the Heat

Despite Havird's high hopes for his chicken salad, he struggled with the kitchen equipment as he prepped the meat. "This flattop is hotter than the asphalt in July in Georgia," Havird joked. "It is searing this chicken quick." The mentors discerned the burned taste in Havird's chicken, and Bobby noted a "carbon" flavor. "I didn't want to take another bite," Valerie admitted.

An Early Exit

Valerie was quick to note that Havird is "very likable-looking" and "sweet" on camera, but he landed among the bottom-three finalists in the first week on account of his chicken flop and inability to separate his Southern perspective from others'. Ultimately he was sent home. "You got to take those experiences, learn from them and move forward," he said, reflecting on the competition.

One-on-One with Havird

We checked in with Havird after his elimination. Hear what he had to say about the competition, and learn his thoughts on the remaining finalists in an exclusive exit interview.

Go Behind the Scenes

See what the mentors, finalists and crew are up to between takes by checking out insider photos from the set.

More: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 12: Part 1

Want More Food Network Star?

Check out Food Network's official Star headquarters for more insider coverage of the competition, plus exclusive mentor interviews, behind-the-scenes photos and winning recipes.

More: Food Network Star