Top Moments from the Premiere of All-Star Academy

Relive the most-memorable moments from the first episode, including the cooking challenges and dramatic turn of events.
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Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Anders Krusberg ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Good News and the Bad News

The home cooks enter All-Star Academy to compete for a chance to win $50,000, but they soon find out it won't be all fun and games, because Episode 1 will have a double elimination. "There are 10 of you," host Ted Allen tells them. "Only eight of you will be chosen for a team."

Everything Is Not Better with Bacon

"I know my food," says August, but the mentors can predict that his idea to wrap skirt steak in bacon and grill it won't work. "August looks like he can redirect when he makes a mistake," says Alex Guarnaschelli after seeing him remove the bacon. "August looks like he might be a good pick," says Bobby.

The Competition Goes Both Ways

In the first challenge the cooks must use four ingredients "to cook [their] way onto a team," says Ted. But the competition isn't just among the cooks. "We've never competed against each other," says Michael Symon about his friend Bobby Flay. "This is about bragging rights for me and Michael," says Bobby.

Watch the Highlight: Season 1 Highlights

The Tortoise and the Hare

"I like the pace that Mimi's cooking at," Michael tells Ted, seeing how well organized and methodical she is with her cooking. But then on the opposite side of the spectrum is Vanessa: "I feel that she's on the edge of brilliant and crazy, which is usually a good thing," says Michael.

Reverse Psychology at Play

"After all these years of [me] eating Michael Symon's food and loving it, he's going to be eating mine," says Sharon, whose steak banh mi impresses the chef. However, Curtis calls the steak overcooked to throw off the others: "I didn't want them to know how much I liked this sandwich," he says.

Differences of Opinion

"I love the texture of the beans," says Alex of Vanessa's black bean salsa. "The onions and the peppers are middling crunchy and juicy," she adds. Bobby interrupts Alex: "See, I don't like that. I think they are too raw." He adds that he feels Vanessa's dish lacks cohesiveness.

Those Are Fighting Words

So, who gets the first team pick? "You'll have to earn it through a cook-off," Ted tells the mentors. The winner will also get to decide the picking order for the other three mentors. "I'm fighting for the ladies here," says Alex. "I'm going to railroad these guys and win," she says of her fellow chefs.

The Heat Is On

"There are too many levels of heat," says guest judge Simon Majumdar upon tasting Bobby's dish, calling the use of mustard, horseradish and chiles "overpowering." Bobby, however, disagrees: "He thought that I went overboard with flavor, which I don't think you can ever do."

Mentor-Mentee Telepathy

"I wanted the fourth pick," Michael complains to Alex, who earned the right to pick first. She gives Curtis the fourth and fifth picks. "The cook that I was first drawn to is still available," says Curtis, excitedly taking Sharon, who says she used the "Vulcan mind meld" to signal to him. Mimi also makes the team.

The Last Pick for the Team

"There's actually still someone remaining here who I would have almost picked as my first pick," says Alex of her choice from among the final three home cooks still remaining. She adds Sherri to her team, which also includes August. That means that Thomas and Mike must exit the Academy.

See More Photos: Meet the All-Star Academy Teams

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