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Justin's Star Scrapbook

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Flip through a Food Network Star finalist's scrapbook for an up-close-and-personal look at journal entries and digital photos taken behind the scenes.

Rebel With a Culinary Cause

Justin Warner, a 27-year-old up-and-coming chef from Brooklyn, rode out the competition all the way to the finale with his culinary rebel POV.

Justin's Star Journal

Each finalist was given a Food Network journal on day one. On the first page, Justin ranked the competition on Team Bobby and Team Giada — he was right on about Michele, but he underestimated Yvan.

Team Alton

Justin and Alton were a perfect match from the beginning. "Bobby and Giada picked their teams solely based on cooking skills. Well, Giada also picked people with pretty smiles. But they've got nothing to say. You guys have something to say," Alton told his team.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Sizing Up the Competition

Justin jotted down quippy insights about his fellow contenders during Episode 2's food tour challenge: "Ippy loves Spam. Judson has removed two of his fingertips. I hope Alton has stock in Band-Aids."

Taking Notes on the Lower East Side

Justin's drawing on the previous journal page reflected his teammate Judson's fear of pickles in the Lower East Side food tour challenge.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Challenge on the Fly

Justin had no time to write any notes in his journal for the Chopped challenge — once that basket was opened, he just had to wing it. On the opposite page, he took a little dig at Michele and her favorite New England ingredient.

Bonding With Rivals

The finalists were also given digital cameras to capture life behind the scenes in the Star house and stew room. Someone snapped this shot of Justin and Team Bobby rival Michele goofing around. Despite his cracks about her obsession with clams, they became good friends.

Culinary Couture

Justin had a great week in the fashion challenge — his winning remake of Beef Stroganoff won him $10K. Hearing Alton's advice not to get cocky, he wrote in his journal, "It's hard not to be cocky when I'm a nerd with 10 g's!" He also showed his romantic side here, drawing a diamond ring that he hoped to buy for his girlfriend.

$10K Dish

For that winning dish, Justin deconstructed the flavors of beef stroganoff into a mosaic-like presentation that floored the judges. "It's gorgeous, and he's really clever," Susie said. "It's incredibly inventive and a very fashionable dish."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Halloween With Guy

Team Alton won the Fashion Week challenge, but the tables were turned the following week. Justin's illustration of "Guy's Big Bite" says it all — his anxiety got the better of him when on stage with the dynamic Star alum.

Off Day for Justin

Justin was excited about his dish, fried sardine skeletons, but when the presentation started, he got cold feet: "The show starts and no one is saying anything. Dead silence. I'm scared for the first time in this competition. I wasn't myself." The entire team ended up in the Producers' Challenge; Justin performed well, but Judson was sent home.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Food Court Cooking

For the food court challenge in South Street Seaport, Justin made a tempura-battered fritto misto. He wrote the simple recipe here in his journal. Nothing made Justin happier than approval from Alton: "If Alton Brown says he likes your food, you know you are doing something right," he wrote.


Alton was proud of his team's food court efforts, and so were the judges. Justin's fritto misto, Martie's arancini and Emily's dessert panini were all hits: "I couldn't wait to bite into each one," said Susie.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

The Rebel's Dates

Justin reflected on Linkie's elimination after the food court challenge, showing that everyone had grown close at this point despite team rivalries. On the opposite page, he prepared for the next challenge: presenting a one-bite dish to a panel of media.

Impressing the Press

Justin presented a dish that Ed Levine called "insane": stuffed dates with peanut butter, duck and bonito flakes. But Team Alton's rebel pulled it off with a story of his late father, who was told he couldn't cook and rebelled by making stuffed dates. "I thought it was a perfect bite," said Bob. "I saw a joy and a sweetness, and it made me love him that much more."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Goin' to Miami

Justin made it to Miami, where the first challenge involved cooking for Paula Deen. His teammate and close friend Martie was beside herself: "Forget me and Alton being two peas ... Paula and Martie are peas and carrots," he wrote with a little sketch in his journal. Justin's corn soup was too spicy for Paula, but she still found him charming and told him he looked like Elvis.

Final Challenge

The final pre-pilot test was a 30-second promo for the shows the finalists hoped to have on Food Network. "I feel pretty good and I'm not scared," said Justin. "I'm here to deliver. If Alton Brown believes in me, then I'm ready to go."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Team Alton, United

"I want Martie and I to stay in this competition together. She's becoming my BFF. She's been wanting this her whole life and if she doesn't get it, I'm going to be heartbroken," Justin said. Team Alton was shocked and thrilled to learn that both Martie and Justin would be making pilots.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Pilot Time!

Justin headed back to Brooklyn to meet up with Alton at his restaurant, Do or Dine, to shoot his pilot. "Martie and I are gonna take this," he wrote.

Mentorly Advice

Justin wanted to make an unconventional Caesar salad on his pilot, and Alton proposed a "genius idea": to screen his own Caesar salad episode of Good Eats to provide a starting point, the classic version of the dish.

The Rebel's Caesar

"It's a scary situation. It's all coming down to this moment. I am struggling as a restaurateur. The stakes for me are incredibly high. I really, really want it," says Justin. "What does America like more than a Caesar salad?"

The Big Reveal

The fans have spoken, and Justin Warner is our new Food Network Star!

Winning Moment

Justin took in the life-changing moment with his mentor. Alton couldn't be prouder of his rebellious protege.

New Addition to the Wall of Stars

Justin now joins Alton on the esteemed wall of Food Network talent.

Justin Warner

Justin Warner, Season 8 Food Network Star winner from Brooklyn, NY.