Star Scrapbook: Jay Ducote

Jay was a runner-up on Food Network Star, Season 11. Relive the memorable moments from his time on the show.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Jay's Journey

Delivering consistently strong presentations throughout his 11-week journey, Jay, a radio host of Louisiana was often thought of as the rival to beat from one challenge to another. Though Jay ultimately didn't clinch the title, Bob Tuschman declared Jay to be "the most camera-ready contestant we've ever had on Food Network Star."

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Clear Message

It was up to Jay to deliver a solid first impression during the Day One's spotlight challenge, and indeed he delivered, telling the mentors about his passion for Louisiana cuisine and outdoor cooking. "I got excited just listening to you. That is a big part of a TV personality," Giada commended him.

Hitting Home

"This challenge really put me in my in my element — cast-iron pot, hot grill, outdoor cooking," he wrote of the first week's food festival challenge at Triunfo Vineyards. "This really felt like cooking at a tailgate party."

Baked Goods Go Savory

"I really feel like this challenge went well for me, but I guess we'll find out for sure tomorrow," Jay said of his presentation at the Week 2 baking challenge. He delivered savory beignets, and while that bite was indeed a success, his too-rehearsed pitch wasn't as well-received.

Gumbo Trouble

In what was his first of only a few missteps in the competition, Jay delivered a gumbo with okra to Bobby and Giada, as well as guest judges Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson, who were attending the dinner party. And he admitted that the gumbo "might be borderline atrocious." Indeed his slimy soup turned out to be "murky," according to Bobby, though Jay's presentation was strong.

Okra, Take 2

After his okra blunder the previous week, Jay was determined to right that past wrong, and when an ingredient swap left him with okra, he took that opportunity to prove himself. "I like the okra too," Bobby admitted after tasting Jay's steak-and-okra combo plate.

Self-Reflection

"I did my best to prepare and present everything properly, and I feel like I absolutely crushed it," Jay said of his performance at the 4th of July challenge. Sure enough, he did as well as he imagined, earning high ratings on the fan-controlled dials.

Mixed Results

Working together at Patina Restaurant, Jay and Emilia delivered a fusion of Cajun and Italian cuisines on their plate in the form of polenta with pork. The duo's meat was "really inconsistently cooked," according to Bobby. But their presentation was far more successful, as guest judge Anne Burrell said, "It did seem like they were having a good time."

On-Stage Success

Ever the strong presenter, Jay shined during the four-minute live demonstration at the comedy club in Week 6; he took the unexpected talking points in stride. After Jay's performance, Bobby said simply, "The guy has got presence." As for Jay's fried calamari, Bob said simply, "I can't stop eating it." Jay's showing that week was so strong that he was named one of the winners of the challenge.

Advantage: Jay

Jay's andouille-studded breakfast taco wowed Bobby and Giada so much so that he earned an advantage come the Episode 7 food truck cook-off in the Star Challenge. "I had the advantage and got to choose burgers for our team," Jay recounted in his journal. "I made a Cajun/Louisiana inspired burger and Arnold made an Asian burger with a ramen bun."

On a Hot Streak

Once again, Jay proved himself to be a formidable competitor, as his and Arnold's burger concept — and their burgers — were deemed the best of the day. "Look at all that juice in there. That's really nice," guest judge Richard Blais noted.

The Hunt for Jay's Thanksgiving 

The name of the game in Week 8 was culinary brands, and surely Jay pitched himself as the keeper of Louisiana cuisine. When it came time to celebrate Thanksgiving Jay style, he spoke of spending the holiday hunting with his family while demoing a stuffed quail. "I am the most-unhunting guy I know, and he still brought me into his world," Bob said.

Final-Four Joy

"This is exactly where I wanted to be when this competition started," Jay said in Episode 9, noting that he'd earned a coveted spot among the final-four finalists.

Getting Schooled

In what seemed like an odd choice for Jay, he selected to make a duo of elementary dishes — pigs in blankets and ants on a log — for his live segment with Catherine McCord focusing on after-school snacks. "Pigs in a blanket doesn't give me any of the Jay flavor that we're used to," Bobby told him. Jay conceded, "I made a boneheaded mistake."

Self-Realization

After his disappointing offering in that Mentor Challenge, Jay admitted, "I got stumped today with a cooking challenge for the first time since I got here." He added, "I really was thinking too hard about keeping it simple and easy to demo, and I didn't make a worthy version of the dish."

Summer, Bro Style 

Jay, Alex, Arnold and Eddie came together for an ensemble production of Summer Live for the first foray into live production — with mixed results. During the brainstorming session with the guys, Jay took these notes on each person's plans for their segments. While Arnold's presentation overwhelmed, and Alex's ramen mystified, Eddie's and Jay's deliveries wowed.

Cook for a Pilot

With Dom's return following a Star Salvation victory, there were four finalists in the running for three available finale spots, and to prove their worthiness, the finalists had to prepare what Bobby deemed "the dish of your lives." Jay chose Emilia to be his sous chef after their successful showing together last time, at Patina Restaurant.

Welcome to the Top 3

After executing a solid fried catfish and, once again, shining in his video presentation, Jay said confidently: "I'm a hundred percent certain that I will be one of the people making a pilot. I'm on top of the world." And indeed he was correct, as he was the first person asked to make a pilot of his would-be show.

Deep-Fried America with Jay Ducote 

With the help of director Rachael Ray, Jay filmed Deep-Fried America with Jay Ducote at Sweet Chick, a chicken-and-waffles hot spot in New York City, to celebrate his love of all things fried. "I've put together a great pilot that's my dream and my vision and the show that I want to have on Food Network," he said afterward.

A Fond Ending

While he ultimately lost the title to Eddie, Jay was pleased to have made it as far as he did, explaining, "I couldn't have two better people sitting up here with me."

Go Behind the Scenes

Get an insider's look at the making of the show, and see how the cast spent its time between takes.

Photos: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 11

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