Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen

See what the mentors and cast members are up to on set between takes.

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: 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: 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: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tyler Golden ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Episode 3: Say Cheese, Mentors

During a rare break in filming, Tyler and Valerie came together for a photo before getting back to work.

Hands Full

With her skillet and a bowl of eggs in tow, Martita headed straight for the back stove to get started on her frittata.

Stove Central

As a matter of chance, at least three of the five finalists left standing in the Mentor Challenge were working the stove at the same time.

From the Panel's POV

Sitting just off to the side as the finalists hosted an eight-minute live stream, the mentors watched fans' comments accumulate and garnered how quickly competitors responded to them.

All Eyes on Chris

Chris put the finishing touches on his mimosa in the final moments of his live stream.

Taste Test

In the last cook of the competition, Michele offered Martita an element of her in-progress lobster roll.

Raining Salt

Dom didn't hold back when seasoning the final dish of the competition, his chicken-mozzarella skewers for the Summer Party Live program.

Finishing Touches

Matthew focused intently on last elements of his grilled salmon dish in the final few moments of prep.

Full Coverage

With a shot of the mentors in the unfocused background and a view of the finalists through the monitor on another camera, all key areas of Food Star Kitchen were accounted for.

Audience at Large

When audience members took their seats near the Summer Party Live set, they found the Dials of Doom waiting for them on their seats.

A Set Transformed

The demo stage in Food Star Kitchen was transformed with string lights, new items on the shelves and a patch of faux grass to set the scene for Summer Party Live.

Mission: Deliberation

Three weeks of challenges have led to this moment: the last time Tyler and Valerie would deliberate ahead of an elimination. After this moment, they were close to declaring a winner.

Group Hug

No matter the rivalry among them, the finalists exchanged thoughtful embraces after learning of Matthew's and Michele's eliminations.

Pure Bliss

Martita could hardly contain herself after learning of her Comeback victory.

Hearty Congratulations

Tyler and Valerie were quick to congratulate Martita and Dom on their wowing growth and impressive showings after crowning Martita the ultimate winner. 

Episode 2: Calm on Camera

Shot just behind the jib on set, this photo captures the serenity that surrounds the mentors before a cooking segment begins.

Heavy Load

After a productive trip to the pantry, where she picked up ingredients and a baking sheet, Michele was just about set to prep her hand-held blueberry pies.

Prompter Goes Here

There's no mistaking where to place the prompter, is there?

All Eyes on the Oven

Not only was Martita closely watching her sweet empanadas as they cooked, but a cameraperson was also close to the door to capture a glimpse inside.

Go, Team, Go

Tyler and Valerie came together for a mentor high-five between takes. 

One-on-One Coverage

Thanks to the work of the camera crew, there's no shortage of play-by-play moments caught on camera.

Focused on Food

It's no secret that Dom struggles with his nerves on camera. But when it comes to being followed by the camera in the kitchen, he's able to keep his head down and get to work.

Pull, Don't Push

Recognize these doors? They are the ones on the side of the kitchen, and they open up near the stoves. When finalists are cued to walk through them, there's no mistaking what they need to do to open them. 

Taste Test

Penny was quick to offer pal Michele a taste of the herb-laced labneh she prepped to serve alongside her tart in the baking test. 

Listening Intently

This is the vantage point from which Tyler and Valerie sat as they watched the finalists' Snapchat Discover videos in the Mentor Challenge.

Team Camaraderie

Look at those smiles. It's almost as if Penny and Dom aren't anxious about the competition.

The Waiting Game

Matthew was left on the sidelines after Penny, exercising her advantage, gave him the least amount of time in which to cook his diner dish.

Friends or Foes?

No matter the tensions between them, by the end of the Star Challenge, these rivals enjoyed a moment of reprieve to survey their dishes before them. 

A Laughing Matter

There's no telling what gave the mentors a case of the giggles between takes.

Waiting in the Wings

A photographer snuck behind a line of cameras and crew members to snap this photo of the mentors at work during the Star Challenge.

Bidding Adieu

Though Penny had strong feelings about her fellow rivals, the finalists put their personal feelings aside after she was eliminated and offered her hearty hugs goodbye.

Tyler vs. Valerie

When these two face off for a friendly arm-wrestling match, we'll gladly tune in to watch what goes down.

Episode 1: What's So Funny?

Tyler Florence and Valerie Bertinelli could hardly contain themselves as they laughed during a rare break in filming the Mentor Challenge.

Peek-a-Judge

While waiting for his next scene to start, Tyler popped his head into Food Star Kitchen to observe the action unfolding.

Checking In

Martita stopped by Dom's area at the stove to see for herself the progress he was making on his tomato-pancetta spaghetti.

Two Thumbs Up

Who's excited? Valerie's excited.

What Rivalry?

No matter the high stakes and the fierce competition among the hopefuls, Chris and Penny came together for friendly banter as they worked on their dishes.

Cooking Companions

Where the finalists went, the cameras nearly always went, too, recording each high and low moment of the contest.

Taste Test

Along with the noodles, the key to any successful pasta dish is a strong sauce, and Dom sampled the flavors of his amatriciana to make sure it was just as he wanted it.

No Time to Waste

Don't be fooled: Food Network Star is very much a physical competition. Time is tight in the cooking challenges, and there aren't any moments to waste.

Waiting to Be Filled

The stage was set for the ultimate viewing party, as the seven empty chairs that would later seat the finalists were lined up in Food Star Kitchen. There were few superfluous items in the arena at that time, allowing the focus to be solely on the finalists and their video presentations.

Full Coverage

As the finalists looked ahead to record their one-minute presentations in the Star Challenge, another camera operator covered the action from behind to ensure no moments were missed. 

Beyond the Judges' Table

Before evaluations began in the first episode, Tyler greeted the finalists in Food Star Kitchen with hearty high-fives.

Mentor Duties

This was the scene just to the side of the judges' table as Tyler and Valerie deliberated the futures of the bottom-three finalists.

The Highest Stakes

Can you just about feel the chill in the air inside these hallowed walls? All eyes were on the bottom three as they awaited their fates in evaluation.

Want More Comeback Kitchen

Check out Food Network's Food Network Star headquarters for more insider coverage of Comeback Kitchen and the Season 12 competitions, including behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive interviews with the mentors.

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