Next Food Network Star, Season 6: Behind the Scenes of the Finale

In the Star Season 6 finale, finalists Tom Pizzica, Aarti Sequeira and Herb Mesa square off with a pilot shoot. The pilots will be reviewed by the judges and a focus group to determine who will be The Next Food Network Star.

Pure Joy

Aarti Sequeira, winner of The Next Food Network Star, Season 6, embraces judge Bob Tuschman.

Star Advisor

Food Network superpower Rachael Ray arrives on set to consult with the finalists on their pilots. Once she's signed off on their concepts, she'll also provide on-camera direction.

Key Collaboration

Rachael gives Aarti feedback on her ideas for the pilot dish and its presentation.

Dos and Don'ts

Rachael spends some time with Tom on the set, explaining how he can fine-tune his demo to keep it on track.

Learning the Ropes

Knowing exactly what to reach for first, next and last is crucial to success.

Mega-Watt Smiles

30 Minute Meals host Rachael Ray and Next Food Network Star finalist Herb Mesa

Just Breathe

Aarti takes a moment to collect herself before a take.

We're Rolling

After a couple rocky starts, Big Chef gets focused and aces his presentation.

Thanks, Rach!

Feeling great about his finished pilot, Tom's ready to kick back and relax ... until the screening.

Bonding Time

The three finalists observe a focus group as the participants review their pilots. Though they can see the reactions, they're not allowed to hear any comments.

Not-So-Casual Observer

Bob Tuschman watches the trio of pilots, also keeping a close eye on the reactions of the focus group.

Food Wall of Fame

The finalists line up near the spot where one of their own portraits will soon join those belonging to the Food Network family of celebrity chefs.

In Suspense

Before the Selection Committee announces the winner, it's business as usual on the evaluation front.

And the Winner Is ....

Aarti Sequeira! Overcome with emotion on hearing her name announced, Aarti gets enthusiastic congratulations from fellow finalists Herb and Tom.

Food Network, Here I Come

Aarti poses with the Selection Committee for her first photo as a bonafide Food Network personality.