PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes of the Food Network Star Premiere

Get an insider's look at the making of the Food Network Star premiere, and see how the cast spent its time between takes.

Behind the scenes shot of Guest Judge JD Heyman, Judges Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman with Selection Committee Giada de Laurentiis and Bobby Flay during the Star Challenge, Food Star Showcase, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

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

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are known for their go-big-or-go-home approaches to the Food Network Star competition, so it was no surprise when they not only tasked the finalists with an impromptu spotlight challenge in the premiere episode, but also a next-level cooking test. The cooking challenge sent rivals out of Food Star Kitchen and on location to a food festival, where they had to prepare signature eats for a crowd of 100 people. It takes quite a feat to pull off both the in-studio production and the taping at Triunfo Vineyards, located in the picturesque setting of the Malibu mountains, for an episode like this; below are never-before-seen photos from both sets. Keep scrolling for an insider's look at the making of the premiere and to see what the cast was up to between takes, then check out the full behind-the-scenes gallery for more snapshots.

Mentor Bobby Flay talks to Finalists Michelle Karam, Eddie Jackson, Emilia Cirker, Alex McCoy, Christina Fitzgerald, Sita Lewis, Jay Ducote, Dom Tesoriero, Rosa Graziano, Rue Rusike, Arnold Myint and Matthew Grunwald during the meet and greet, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

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

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A Star's Spotlight

Although Bobby surely had no need to prove himself in the spotlight, he couldn't help but step inside during a break between takes.

Finalist Sita Lewis waves to finalist Arnold Myint during the meet and greet, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

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

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Quick Hello

Arnold and Sita caught each other's eyes as they waited for the initial introductions from the mentors.

Finalist Emilia Cirker preparing her dish, Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps with North African Peanut Sauce, for the Star Challenge, Food Star Showcase, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

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

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Up-Close Cooking

Emilia learned quickly that cooking in a culinary competition is a lot different than cooking in an at-home kitchen. Not only is there a set time on the clock, but camera operators aren't shy about getting their lenses up close and personal with your prep work as it's coming together.

Behind the scenes shot of Selection Committee Giada de Laurentiis and Bobby Flay during the Star Challenge, Food Star Showcase, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

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

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Working with Daylight

The bright light of the day proved tricky for the crew members as they worked to offset the shadows cast on Giada and Bobby by the sun.

Behind the scenes shot of judges Susie Fogelson, Bob Tuschman and Selection Committee Giada de Laurentiis and Bobby Flay in deliberation, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

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

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A Tense Arena

This is the view the finalists faced as they learned their fate of the first episode's elimination. With the dramatic lighting and wide-open space, it's no surprise that the competitors were anxious during evaluation.

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