The All-Star Academy Mentors from Season 2 Reveal Their Own Mentors

Alex Guarnaschelli, Andrew Zimmern, Curtis Stone and Robert Irvine chat about the chefs who've influenced their professional lives.

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It's All About Your Frame of Mind

Alex names Guy Savoy as her mentor, and also includes Daniel Boulud and Bobby Flay in her list. "I think I will never stop having mentors," she says. "Guy Savoy really told me to ... don't overthink stuff, just practice," she says. Daniel taught her to always strive to be better. From Bobby, she says she learned "how your attitude toward yourself and your own abilities can affect what happens to you."

"My Dad Made Me Who I Am Today"

"My family, early on in my childhood, nurtured my food sensibility," explains Andrew, who started out helping at home and then moved on to working in restaurants through high school. Even though he's worked with a lot of great people, he says it continued to be his parents, and especially his dad, from whom he learned his strong work ethic and to always "show up early."

From Mum's Kitchen to the Devil's Kitchen

"I worked for Marco Pierre White for eight years," says Curtis about the notorious chef, his mentor, whom he left Australia to work for. Curtis also names his mum and granny as big influences for him. What he learned from all of them was "the value of hard work." Curtis adds, "You can’t just suddenly win it; you've actually got to earn it."

"Mentors Come in All Forms"

"When I was growing up, it was everybody," says Robert. "When you first start in the culinary world, it's 'take as much knowledge as you can from whoever is giving it,'" he explains. But he lists Roberto Donna, Michel Richard, Jeffrey Buben and Jean-Georges Vongerichten as specific influences. "All these star chefs, they've got something, and it's called passion."

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