Star Scrapbook: Reuben Ruiz

Reuben Ruiz was the sixth finalist eliminated on Food Network Star, Season 10. Relive the memorable moments from his 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.

Reuben Ruiz

The sixth finalist eliminated from the competition, Reuben maintained a strong Miami point of view throughout the contest, but while the judges appreciated his cooking, they couldn't look past his inability to take command of the camera.

Speedy Speech

Even from the first days of filming, Reuben struggled to enunciate his words. As Alton explained, "He needs to slow down."

Self-Described

Finalists were given journals to use during their time in the competition, and Reuben filled his with thoughts on past challenges, recipe ideas and reflections on mentor feedback. On one of the first pages, he deemed himself a "mama's boy" and enclosed his family in a drawing of a heart.

Initial Impressions

"What can I say other than Giada is marvelous, Bobby seems intense and Alton is just Alton," Reuben jotted down after the first day on set. He penned early observations of his rivals, including Sarah, whom he realized is "Season 8['s] biggest fan."

Sorry Results

When it came time for Reuben to prove his food authority in week two, he fumbled a green-bean casserole recipe, forgetting to incorporate flour into his mushroom mixture before adding broth. "You can't go backwards and add the flour, because [it's] going to have lumps," his rival Sarah explained.

Lessons Not Learned

Reuben's teaching abilities didn't improve in that episode's Star Challenge, when he had to use his camera technique to teach Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. "I'm getting lost here a little bit," Alex noted. "I don't know if a home cook could keep up with this." 

Admitting Mistakes

After surviving Episode 2, Reuben reflected in his journal, "I was told to control my quickness in speech, which has always been my biggest problem."

Petite Eats

Episode 3 brought Star's first-ever Cutthroat Kitchen-themed challenge, and when Reuben was sabotaged with the dreaded mini kitchen, he didn't let what he proclaimed a "ridiculous" test stop him from making a quality breakfast.

Making Strides

Although guest judge Jet Tila noted the small portion of Reuben's Cuban-inspired offering, Bobby commended the better-paced presentation. "You've actually slowed down a little bit," Bobby told Reuben.

Quick Energy

When Reuben had to make what Bobby called "a video selfie," he seemingly reverted to his old ways, as he produced a tape that the judge thought was "rushed." Bobby added, "When you get nervous, you run through things, so we need to get you to take a breath. We've told you this a bunch of times now."

Background Presentation

Despite Reuben's history of high-energy performances, in his Reese's marketing tape at YouTube, he seemed to be "hidden," according to one executive. Nevertheless, his team's video was deemed the best of the day, and he, Emma and Nicole were spared from elimination.

Helpful Tips

"You're going to pace yourself today?" Giada advised Reuben before he presented at the finalists' first-ever live demonstration at Knott's Berry Farm. Although he indeed slowed down while talking, he apologized for briefly speaking Spanish, and ultimately his food wasn't wow-worthy either. "The food overall — inconsistent," Giada said of his fried chicken and bean salad.

Unexpected Lunar Escape

In what would be Reuben's final week in the competition, he worked on developing and packaging his signature hot sauce, then selling it in a commercial — one that took place on the moon. The Selection Committee appreciated the taste and consistency of his dish, but they couldn't look past what Bobby called his "flat" commercial, in which he failed to acknowledge his lunar surroundings.

Gracious Goodbye

"He's got a great smile, he has some presence, but he's not able to do it in front of the camera," Bobby said of Reuben, who ultimately exited the contest after six weeks of competition. "I put my best foot forward," Reuben reflected. "Obviously, I tried really hard." 

One-on-One with Reuben

Read Reuben's first exclusive interview to learn his thoughts on the challenges and his plans for the future. 

The Fight for Salvation

Reuben joins Luca and Chad in the Star Salvation finale, but only one will rejoin the competition next week. Watch the Web series now.

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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