Like in previous years of the show, the set of Food Network Star, Season 9 was built not in New York City, Food Network's headquarters, but in California at The Culver Studios in Culver City.
Each competitor had to walk through these doors the first time they entered the Food Star Kitchen on day one of filming the premiere episode.
Finalists, mentors and production crew alike were reminded to "pull," not push, when entering through the double door into the Food Star Kitchen.
The Food Star Kitchen seen here served as the main indoor filming location for the show. Finalists cooked, presented and were ultimately eliminated in this single expansive space.
Complete with working double ovens, a six-burner stove, a miniature grill top and expansive workspace, the cooking station in the Food Star Kitchen had everything the competitors needed to prepare and present their meals to camera.
For at-home viewers, this scene is likely familiar, as it's where several competitors filmed their premiere pitch tapes for the network.
Taken from the wings of the set, this photo captures portions of the kitchen that are seen on TV, plus the lights and staging in the background that complete the look.
The Waiting Game
Whether they were waiting to present or waiting for the mentors to finish their deliberating during evaluation, the finalists gathered in the Stew Room and often reflected on their performances during the past week.
Show logos hung throughout the set and proved to be continuous reminders of the dreams the contestants were trying to achieve.
According to Food Network's culinary team, bacon was among the most-used ingredients of Season 9, and the strangest product purchased was durian. There were 36 spices in the Food Star pantry, and red pepper flakes, chili powder and garlic powder were some of the most-popular picks.
No fewer than 128 pots and pans lined the shelves of the pantry.
A Tool for Every Need
To make sure the competitors had exactly what they needed to cook at their best, the kitchen boasted eight blenders, 12 whisks, six stand mixers, eight food processors and 18 tongs. There were also 21 varieties of plates, bowls and glasses at their disposal, which made for creative serving arrangements every episode.
Hanging ominously on a wall in the Food Star Kitchen, this digital clock served as a constant reminder of the finalists' dwindling time to complete their dishes.
Any tools, pans and utensils that couldn't fit in the Star Kitchen found their way to a back room, which served as storage for extra products.
This is an up-close snapshot of the mystery ingredient baskets the contestants found at their stations during Episode 3's Chopped challenge. Like those used on Chopped, these baskets featured a double-open top and deep, sturdy base.
Setting the Scene
The prop room had everything needed to complete the transformation of a particular scene, including faux flowers, decorative vessels, serving pieces and even the Chopped baskets.
When Episode 2's Burger Bash competition took the competitors outside to the lawn of the Culver Mansion, the kitchen's pantry went with them. Food Network's culinary team purchased 150 pounds of ground beef, bison, lamb, turkey, chicken and pork for that challenge, plus various buns, breads, cheeses and condiments.
It's no easy feat keeping the sizable set clean and in working order. The production company stocked glass cleaner, painter's tape and disinfectant solution on hand behind the scenes.
Various bright-colored lights beamed through crisscross panels to give the illusion of blue and purple hues through the windows at the back of the Kitchen.