Star Scrapbook: Tregaye Fraser

After besting all 12 of her fellow finalists, Tregaye earned the coveted title and became Food Network's newest Star. Relive her journey to victory.

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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.

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: Patrick Wymore ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Patrick Wymore ©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.

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.

A Star Is Born

Flip through Tregaye's photo scrapbook to relive her triumphant Food Network Star journey, and check out pages from her personal competition journal.

Feeling Fleek-y

On day one of the competition, Tregaye was quick to introduce one of her now-signature phrases: "Keep it cute." Tregaye initially tried to "reel it on back and find a balance," but ultimately that led her to be "average," according to Giada De Laurentiis. So from then on, Tregaye was sure to be herself. 

Recipe Reflections

Each finalist was given a journal to use during the competition, and Tregaye filled hers with notes and ideas for her recipes. Here she jotted down the elements of her Week 1 dish, a play on fish and grits. According to guest judge Tyler Florence, "It's pretty tasty."

Best Buds

Tregaye and Yaku had known each other from a past competition, so when they wound up on Food Network Star together, they were instant pals. They teamed up for the first time in Week 2 to create a travelogue at Los Angeles' Grand Central Market, but later their partnership was tested when they had to face off in a throwdown come the next challenge.

Flavor Pairings

At the mash-up battle hosted by Rev Run, Tregaye managed to outsell Yaku when describing her take on a sushi-chili cheese dog pairing. "I thought that Tregaye was confident in her seduction," Rev noted. Here she penned the basic ingredients she'd need to bring this fusion to life.

Strong Showing

"Mount Everzest" was the punny name of the game for Tregaye in the Week 3 Mentor Challenge. She brought the title to life with Bundt-shaped Lobster Bread Pudding that Bobby Flay said he found to be "impressive," and she went on to win that challenge and earn the advantage of assigning partners in the upcoming Star Challenge.

An Early Flop

The Week 3 Star Challenge saw one of the most-significant stumbles for Tregaye. Once again working with Yaku, she created a Family Road Trip video, and though she was indeed excited at the prospect of a trip to the state fair, she let her over-the-top exuberance get out of hand, jumping and yelling on-screen. "You were so distracting in terms of your energy," Bobby told her.

Familiar Setting

When VIP guest Hannah Hart asked that Tregaye's shrimp appetizer be infused with Mexican flavors, the finalist took the request in stride, simply working cilantro into the dish. Even when it came time to present her plate in a tableside service she remained cool under pressure, explaining, "I used to work at this upscale hotel with celebrity clients, so I'm feeling so relaxed right now." Together her flavors and presentation were strong enough to land her in the top that week.

Making Strides

In Week 5, for the second week in a row, Tregaye earned top honors at the evaluations. She offered a strong food hack video — guest Katie Lee told her, "In one minute, I feel like I know you." And her showing at the tailgate left a mark on the mentors. "Tregaye grabs your attention," Giada declared.

On a Roll

Come Week 6, Tregaye was simply on a roll. Tasked with putting art on the plate in the Mentor Challenge, she delivered a fish-shaped salmon dish that impressed the panel, including Giada, who deemed it "well-seasoned." Tregaye and Damiano scored the wins in that challenge.

Going Strong

When the Wheel of Mythicality left Tregaye with a pairing of octopus and macaroni and cheese, there was the potential for her to crumble beneath the pressure, especially because she was more than a bit dismayed by the slimy octopus. But she rose to the occasion, as she offered a stellar plate and sold it well to the guys of Good Mythical Morning. This success landed her among the top-two finalists that week.

The Queen Reigns Supreme

In the Week 7 Mentor Challenge, Tregaye happened to be the first to present her frozen-ingredient dish, and everyone else was challenged to outperform her in order to earn the top spot — but no one did. She remained undefeated in this game that Bobby likened to "King of the Hill" and ultimately earned an advantage in the upcoming Star Challenge.

Tiki Entertainment

"I want us to kind of get the crowd hyped," she said as she and her tiki party partner prepped their dishes ahead of their demo. It turns out, though, that they took the goal of entertainment too far, as they spent too much time chanting "Tiki! Tiki!" and bartending than they did explaining their dishes. "On the entertainment side, you guys killed it," Giada said. "But does it qualify as a food demo if there's no real food happening?"

Breakthrough

After Tregaye gave yet another standout performance while describing her take on Hawaiian loco moco in Week 8, Bobby presented her with high praise: "This is for you to lose. You are so good at this." Of course smitten with the feedback, she noted simply, "I just want to keep doing my best."

Finding Pleasure in Guilty Pleasures

In a challenge focused on Guilty Pleasures, Tregaye not only described in mouthwatering detail her own guilty pleasure of fried scallops, but she went on to prep that very dish for the seafood course in the dinner for the mentors and guest judges. "I think it's very pretty," Bobby noted. Tregaye's presentation, too, was strong, as guest Alex Guarnaschelli said, "I got a sense of who she is."

The Holiday Spirit

It was all about Fortune Cookie Day for Tregaye as she kicked off the first of two holiday-themed celebrations in Week 9. Though she indeed enjoyed being with her husband in the kitchen, she underutilized him as her guest, and she abandoned the food at one point to show off her shoes, ultimately running out of time before tasting her joint zucchini bread-duck dish. That offering, too, was a bit off base, as Bobby told her, "Don't forget your focus: Fortune Cookie Day."

Countdown to New Year's Eve

For her second holiday party, Tregaye hosted a New Year's Eve bash complete with gal-pal guests, and right away she brought the fun. "This time I want to make sure I got all three of these girls in this kitchen doing something," Tregaye said. She also spoke of collard greens being personally significant to her family, and her story was so touching that guest Tia Mowry was moved to tears. "You were very authentic with your approach," Tia told her.

Fighting for a Pilot

Just when Tregaye, Damiano and Jernard thought they were the top-three finalists, Yaku shocked the group when he returned as the winner of Star Salvation. "You can join me, just don't try to take my spot," she joked with him.

Sous Chef Concerns

With the help of Monterey, her sous chef, Tregaye executed what she hoped would be "a fleek-y brunch" featuring her take on surf and turf. The mentors were mostly pleased with the taste — though her corn cakes were "too dry," according to Giada — but they couldn't help but notice a marked difference in her personality. "It felt forced almost. Like, it wasn't the normal, easygoing Tregaye," Giada said.

Pilot: Achieved

Despite the missteps in her presentation, Tregaye scored the third and final pilot opportunity, and she traveled to Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles to work with director Guy Fieri on her video. For her, the struggle would be synthesizing all of the many aspects of this eclectic spot. "I'm nervous. It's just so many things that I have to cover," she admitted.

Finishing Strong

Despite a few initial hiccups in filming, Tregaye managed to close her pilot on a high note. "Proud of you," Guy told her after she completed her outro segment. "That was really clean."

Game-Changing Prospects

Anxiety levels were high at the finale, when Tregaye, Jernard and Damiano came together to find out who among them would be crowned Food Network's newest Star. Together with the cast and the mentors, she reflected on her time in the competition and what a win would mean for her. "It would change my whole life," she explained. "It's big to me."

Food Network's Newest Star

After 11 weeks of competition, Tregaye earned the coveted title of Food Network Star in an emotional reveal at the finale. "Thank you so much for believing in me," she told Giada. "This is like what I've been waiting for my whole life."

Tregaye's First Winning Interview

We were on set of the finale with Tregaye when she earned the title of Food Network Star. Check out this exclusive interview to find out just how she was feeling.

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 2

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.

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