Star Scrapbook: Matthew Grunwald

Matthew was the second finalist eliminated 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

Matthew Grunwald,

Matthew, a chef from Arizona, made a lasting impression in the brief two weeks that he was in the competition. He began the contest with a plethora of ideas for his would-be shows, but ultimately his inability to focus on the tasks in front him, like simply presenting to the camera in a controlled speech, led to his demise.

More: Matthew Grunwald

#SoManyHashtags

Even the very first pages of Matthew's journal reveal the concept for his show, Food News Today. He wanted to engage young people using social media, which, of course, leads to his penchant for the hashtag. "#GetFiredUp," he wrote.

According to Matthew

"Dapper," "wise," "son" and "flavor appreeechiator" is how Matthew would describe himself.

Early Enemies

In the first challenge, the hopefuls had to introduce themselves and their culinary points of view in the spotlight, while their rivals watched and later gave one-word impressions based on what they'd seen. Matthew was quick to speak his mind, even if what he had to say was brutally honest. "Wata," he said of Dom, mocking the New Yorker's accent. "Matthew takes a shot at my accent; I don't like that one bit," Dom said.

His Turn

When it was his turn to present in the spotlight, Matthew surely received what he'd dished out to others earlier. Arnold described his presentation as "exhausting." And Bobby explained to Matthew, "Nothing makes sense at all."

Speaking to the Fans

If it was Matthew's goal to start a dialogue with viewers, then he was to use every available outlet, including this journal, in which he left a note to you, the fans at home. "Thank you for watching," he penned. "I do not like to stay within the lines. Pictures are preferred."

A Mixed Offering

At the vineyard for the food festival in the premiere episode, Matthew left the Selection Committee questioning his point of view and seemingly haphazard video. His food, however, was far more successful, as Bob said of Matthew's hamachi offering, "I think there's a lot of finesse."

Self-Awareness

"I am confident in my brand," Matthew wrote on the day of the premiere elimination. Though he was indeed in the bottom-three performers that week, he survived.

Busting a Move

It appears that even amid the stress of the competition, Matthew kept his sense of humor. Here he asked readers to choose their favorite of two Internet-famous dance moves: the twerk or the "Dougie."

Speaking Out

At 22 years old, Matthew was the youngest rival in the contest this year, which makes this proclamation in his journal, "Young people should feel empowered to have a victorious life," all the more poignant.

Embracing a Mash-Up POV

Week 2 saw a change for Matthew, in which instead of leading with a presentation about social media-driven cooking, he talked about his family and how he likes to combine Southwestern and Asian ingredients. "You were a lot more focused today," Giada tells him. And when it comes to the food, the judges were again pleased. "Everything was really nicely cooked," Bobby tells him of his vegetables and egg dish.

Defining His Cooking

"Poblanos," "sambal," "mirin" and "blood orange zest" are just a few of the items Matthew believes to be among "Southwestern-Asian top ingredients."

Professional Esteem

Episode 2's Star Challenge was the first baking-focused test for the finalists, and not only were they cooking for mentor-judges Bobby and Giada, but also Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli and five of the country's most-revered pastry chefs. "These judges don't scare me, nor do the pastry chefs," Matthew wrote of the challenge, "but I sure do respect them all."

Missed Attempt

"Hashtag I got this," Matthew said of the situation during what would ultimately become his final challenge in the competition. He said that he knew it was "vital" to wow the panel, though unfortunately Bobby found Matthew's galette to be a miss. As for Matthew's presentation, Alex explained, "I find it a little bit hard to connect with Matthew."

Week 2 Demise

"Can we get him to take direction?" Bobby wondered about Matthew. Bobby, Giada and Alex contemplated who among the bottom three this week — Matthew, Sita and Emilia — would be sent home. Despite Matthew's culinary chops, he was ultimately eliminated on account of his on-camera persona. "I am the best cook and chef here," Matthew said afterward. "You will see me again."

One-on-One with Matthew

Hear from Matthew in his first exclusive exit interview to learn his thoughts on the contest and what's next.

Go Behind the Scenes

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

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

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