Former finalists return to the Food Network Star kitchen for a second shot at stardom! Hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence kick off the proceedings by identifying what kept each of the alumni from prevailing in their previous season. Then, the alumni each take on a retro dessert in desperate need of a comeback and shoot an Instagram video about their updated version. Duff Goldman joins Valerie and Tyler to help judge the results, and one contestant will be eliminated from the competition.
For the Mentor Challenge, the competitors each take on a forgotten pantry ingredient and perform a live web stream, demonstrating how they used their ingredient in a creative and modern way. For the Star Challenge, the finalists go head-to-head, traveling back in time to a past decade and working with the tools of that era to create a decade-appropriate dish. After each alumnus presents their dish to co-hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence, another competitor is sent packing.
The final five competitors hack a classic salad bar, harvesting ingredients to create a dish while telling the entire tale in an Instagram Story. One alumnus is sent home based on the results. Then, for the final challenge, the remaining four competitors battle it out for the coveted spot as the 13th finalist on the new season of Food Network Star by creating their own dinner party and a video invitation to attract potential dinner guests. Co-hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Tyler Florence attend each dinner party and determine the ultimate winner.
One ousted rival will rejoin the competition, but only if he or she can survive a six-week journey on Star Salvation, hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro.