A self-described "lunch lady" from New York's Staten Island, Rob wowed the mentors on day one with his over-the-top persona, and Giada told him, "You made us laugh." But after several weeks of only mediocre performances that didn't showcase his personality, he was ultimately sent home.
The finalists were given journals to use during their time in the competition, and Rob filled his with notes on challenge recipes. On the inside cover of his journal, Rob deemed himself "the culinary renegade" and "lunch lady." Throughout the competition, both terms would come to define him.
Both Melissa and Rob made crab cakes in Week 1, though Rob's didn't have the healthy spin that Melissa's did. Here he jotted down the ingredients he'd need to prep the dish, including a whopping amount of jumbo lump crabmeat. Bobby deemed it to be "very good." Ultimately, Rob placed among the top-three finalists in the first week's evaluation.
Rob and Aaron were close pals during the competition, and in Week 2, they were quick to team up for the travelogue challenge at Grand Central Market. But come the Star Challenge that week, they were facing off against each other for Rev Run's mash-up challenge. "He killed him," Bobby said of Rob against Aaron. "He's too likable." Indeed more fans wanted to try Rob's dish than Aaron's, and the former finalist was considered safe that week.
Just like in Week 2, the Week 3 challenge had finalists working in teams. This time, Rob and Monterey were paired together, and Rob wasn't too pleased — at first, that is. "She's just too damn hyper and all over the place," he said. But later, he admitted, "This isn't a bad match." Together they made a strong promo for a road trip episode. Giada declared, "I think it was kind of close to perfect."
The finalists kicked off Week 4 with a focus on food trends, and for Rob, that meant baharat — or something similar sounding to that. He wondered: "The bahatram. Bahat-Bahatma. What is it?" When it came time to present the ingredient in a live-style interview with guests Nancy O'Dell and Kevin Frazier, he jumbled his words on-air.
When a VIP hotel guest called and asked that Rob ditch the pumpernickel bread in his lobster sandwich in the Week 4 Star Challenge, he didn't just swap in a new bread, but rather he dropped bread altogether. He used lettuce cups instead, but unfortunately they weren't as successful as he'd hoped. "It's a shame that he took such beautifully cooked lobster and then did this with it," Bobby said.
"It's kind of hard for me to sell something that I really don't know anything about except that I cooked it. I'm kind of scared to death right now," Rob said of serving his lobster dish during the tableside service at the hotel. The mentors noticed his subdued personality, as guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson said, "I feel like maybe he wasn't really proud of his dish."
Come Week 5, food hacks were the name of the game, and Rob looked to the waffle iron to make burgers instead of the usual waffles. Judge Katie Lee told him: "You had a great hack. That's a great idea." Once again, however, his personality was lacking, as Bobby noted, "I felt you were a tad reserved."
During the tailgating challenge, Rob felt comfortable with the task at hand. "I'm feeling really confident," he declared. "This dish is the ultimate tailgating food on the wild side." He made the best of his protein of choice — turkey dogs — by wrapping them in bacon and blanketing them with a bold soda-based sauce. But when the mentors visited his station, they thought he missed a crucial opportunity to explain why his sauce was so special. "I wish he would have talked a little bit more about the thing that was special about what he was doing," Bobby said.
Rob kicked off Week 6 — what would become the last one for him — with a bold declaration. "I'm throwing out the wild side of comfort. I'm going full force lunch lady," he said. He managed to showcase his kid-focused cooking in the Mentor Challenge by creating a turkey patty and vegetables in the shape of a turkey. Giada found the turkey to be "a little burnt," but for Bobby, the problem was Rob's presentation. "It was a tiny bit awkward," Bobby noted after Rob decided to channel Godzilla and eat the dish.
It was up to the finalists to present their Will It food pairing on a segment of Good Mythical Morning with the show's hosts, Rhett and Link. Though Rob's hummus-cheese calzone combo was a success, once again his presentation lacked. "If you can't tell us what we're eating, why do we want to eat it? You're not doing your job," Bobby told him.
With only a handful of finalists left in the competition, just Rob and Joy were left on the bottom in Week 6. Ultimately, though, it was Rob who was sent home, disappointed to have reached the end of his journey. "This sucks. I never wanted anything so bad as to win Food Network Star," he said.