Star Scrapbook: Nicole Gaffney

Nicole Gaffney was the second runner-up on Food Network Star, Season 10. Relive the memorable moments from her time on the show.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Nicole Gaffney

A personal chef from New Jersey, Nicole was one of the top-three finalists on Season 10. Despite filming a successful pilot of her would-be show, My Coastal Kitchen, she didn't earn enough fan votes to become Food Network's newest Star.

Premiere Plan

All of the finalists were given journals to use during their time in the contest, and Nicole filled hers with drawings of her fellow contestants, mentor feedback and plans for upcoming challenges. Here she penned her would-be speech at the Hollywood premiere party.

Positive Changes

"That wasn't even the same person," Alton said of Nicole after she presented her take on "coastal cuisine" at the premiere party. This point of view was a drastic improvement after Nicole had offered only a general perspective to the mentors just that morning.

Mixed Results

Although Nicole offered good-to-know tips in her on-camera demo for surprise guest judge Alex Guarnaschelli, Giada admitted, "I didn't see someone that was having a good time."

Rivals As Art

Here Nicole sketched four stick figures, presumably thought to be her fellow finalists. Whom do you think each drawing portrays?

Grave Error

Nicole found herself without pasta of any kind during the spaghetti-and-meatballs round of the Cutthroat Kitchen-style competition. It wasn't a sabotage, however, that robbed her of this key ingredient, but rather her own forgetfulness during pantry shopping.

Juicy Sabotage

"This is like P90X," Nicole joked of the time-suck sabotage that forced her to stomp grapes until a jar was full of their juice.

School Days

Nicole, Emma and Reuben worked together on Team Reese's to film a YouTube video showcasing the candy — and in the end, they won with a Spanish class-themed finished product.

Missing Part

At Knott's Berry Farm, Nicole used the Mexican coast to inspire her dish of barbecue pork and onion rings, but when she forgot to mention that connection in her presentation, her dish seemed disjointed. "Linking this dish to the Jersey Shore doesn't work," Alton admitted.

Wise Words

"Take it from your heart, put it in your hand," Nicole wrote in her journal.

Mixed Results

Visibly distraught in the midst of trying to sell tomato-onion jam in the Old West, Nicole admitted, "This is frustrating." And the Selection Committee could tell, as Bob noted, "What was missing for me was Star power."

Ingredient Substitution

"I'm guessing that no one at this party is going to be able to tell the difference between Serrano ham and prosciutto," Nicole said after telling partygoers that she had cooked with Serrano ham when it was actually prosciutto. Giada and Alton, however, indeed noticed the difference, and Giada explained, "Don't misguide [viewers] because they will never trust you again."

Screaming for Ice Cream

Nicole wasn't shy about her excitement when she learned that she'd be indulging in a $1,000 ice cream sundae from Serendipity 3 in Las Vegas. This over-the-top extravagance would serve to inspire the one-of-a-kind dinner she'd prepare the Selection Committee in the Star Challenge.

Confused Legs

Although her presentation about Thai-style frog's legs left the Committee wondering the dish's connection to New Jersey, the judges were wowed by the flavor, as Giada explained, "I actually really like the frog's legs."

Early Win

In her first challenge in New York City — a live broadcast from Ronnybrook Milk Bar in Chelsea Market — Nicole wowed the mentors with a good-to-know tip about the shop's ice cream, and it ultimately earned her the challenge win.

Taste Test

Although Nicole knew she'd be cooking for children's palates on The Rachael Ray Show, she nevertheless included a Sriracha — an Asian hot sauce — in her shrimp lettuce wraps. And the results were devastating: One of Rachael's young guests spit out Nicole's dish after a quick taste.

Final Test

After filming a promo for her would-be show on Food Network, My Coast Kitchen, Nicole earned one of three coveted spots to produce a pilot.

My Coastal Kitchen

Nicole used the Louisiana coast as inspiration for her pilot, which highlighted the classic flavors of the Big Easy. After guest mentor Robert Irvine helped her relax on camera, Nicole cooked up barbecue-style clams and enjoyed them with her friends.

Finale Day

All of this season's contestants came together for the finale, and what unfolded was a mix of laughs and tears.

Look-Back

"You need to hear that in order to grow," Nicole said of the mentors' sometimes-harsh feedback about her weekly performances.

End of the Road

Before the next Food Network Star was announced, Bob revealed the second runner-up, and unfortunately for Nicole, she was named the eliminated finalist. The Committee congratulated her on an impressive rise to the top and an unforgettable journey, and Nicole smiled with her head held high.

Go Behind the Scenes

Browse insider snapshots of the finalists and mentors to find out what went down on set when the cameras weren't rolling.

More: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 10

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