Food Network Star, Season 12: Top Moments of Episode 3

Get an inside look at the finalists' challenges and relive memorable moments from the third episode of Food Network Star, Season 12.
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Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Cook the Name

Food Network Magazine Editor-in-Chief Maile Carpenter joins Bobby and Giada for the Mentor Challenge in which finalists have to create a dish from a punny name, like "Better Off Bread" and "Meat Me Halfway." It's up to the hopefuls to not only create plates from which Maile and the panel can discern the names, but also style their dishes for a photographer.

Heart's Desire

"Cake? I'm not a baker," Rob says, disappointed he's tasked with creating a dish inspired by the name "Cold-Hearted Cake." He settles on making pancakes — no baking required — and shapes them into hearts. Though the hearts are hardly visible, Maile admits, "I got there." But unfortunately, the flavor of Rob's dish is in question, as Giada notes, "I would have loved to have had a little more flavor in it."

Bringing the Heat — or Not

Tasked with the title of "Hot or Not," Damiano sticks to his pastry-chef roots and creates a cold dessert that's brimming with the smokelike swirls of liquid nitrogen. "I wasn't sure if it was hot smoke or cold smoke, and I think that's genius," Maile told him. And the panel is wowed by the flavor. "I mean, what's not to like about this?" Bobby asks.

Better Off Battered

For Joy, a name like "Batter Up," means one thing: "something deep-fried," she says. She opts to make a chicken and waffles dish, inspired by a client favorite at her restaurant. And indeed the judges like it, too, as Bobby tells her, "I'm coming to your restaurant just to eat this."

Passing on 3

Maile isn't able to tell the name of Jernard's, Martita's and Monterey's dishes, which means neither she nor the mentors will taste their food. "I'm disappointed in myself," Jernard admits.

Great Heights

Thanks to Tregaye's creative way of adding height via mini Bundt cakes, her interpretation of "Mount Everzest" with her Lobster Bread Pudding impressed the panel. "I think the cake is tender, especially for the amount of time that you had. I think it's impressive," Bobby tells her. She earns the win in this challenge and will receive an advantage come the Star Challenge. "Winning this challenge today," Tregaye says, "really, like, boosts my energy back."

Mission: Road Trip

Thanks to her advantage, Tregaye gets to pick not only her teammate for the road trip challenge, but also to assign the rest of the teams. It's no surprise that she chooses to work with pal Yaku, whom she partnered with last week as well. "It's on now," she says when it comes to the others, and she carefully aligns her rivals.

Conflicting Ideas

When Martita and Ana open the trunk of their vehicle, they find Grandma-inspired fixings like chicken noodle soup and knitting supplies. Despite their common love of abuela, they have trouble connecting with each other on camera. "I've always thought that Martita is overly rehearsed," Ana admits. But Martita continues with her plan for herself.

Italian-Style Camping

Damiano and Erin are off on a road trip to the campground, and for Damiano that means ... gnocchi. Though the judges question Damiano's camp meal, Giada can't deny that his pesto is impressive. Erin's next-level s'more dish, with its trail mix-laced blondie, is wowing too. "The cookie has wonderful flavor to it, and I think it's incredibly inventive," Bobby tells them. 

Mixed Results

"It's not like I don't like the girl. She's just too damn hyper and all over the place," Rob says of Monterey, nervous to be working with her. They're tasked with making a beach promo, and — much to Rob's disbelief — their video comes together easily. When it comes to their dishes, though, Monterey doesn't deliver on the promise of ice cream sandwiches, as her potato chip cookies don't turn out. Rob's clams, however, are a bit more successful, though guest judge Ali Larter wishes it were "maybe a little bit less crunch so it's a little bit more refined."

Solid Partnership

It doesn't take Joy and Jernard, two Southerners, long to find their rhythm in the kitchen while working with crawfish and bread; they have similar ideas for prepping their boil, which the judges swoon over. Their video is also a success, as Bobby says, "It just seemed so natural." They end up winning the challenge and are both safe from elimination this week.

A Whimsical Mess

Though Tregaye is able to pick her partner, her video with Yaku is a flop. "Tregaye, you were so distracting in terms of your energy," Bobby tells her, adding that she's failed to adequately explain herself. In terms of the food, Yaku's chicken-fried steak is a success, while her crab-topped corn muffin is less so. "I would have liked it to be less corn muffin to crab," Bobby admits.

Looking for More

Just as Ana predicts, Martita comes across as "overly polished," according to Giada, though the judge finds Ana to be "very conversational" in the video. Though Ana's chicken doesn't have sauce, because she ran out of time to add it, Martita's sope is more of a concern. "It's the second similar dish you've made us in three weeks," Giada tells Martita. "We need to know you can make more than just certain types of dishes."

Rounding Out the Bottom

On account of combined offerings of inferior food and lackluster performances, two teams land in the bottom this week: Martita and Ana, and Tregaye and Yaku. All four are up for potential elimination. 

Martita's Goodbye

Though Bobby deems Martita "likable," he and Giada question her range in the kitchen, and they aren't impressed with her sope preparation this week. Ultimately she's sent home this week, just three weeks after her rise to the top on Comeback Kitchen. "I didn't imagine myself going home," she admits. "I imagined myself winning the whole damn thing, of course."

One-on-One with Martita

We checked in with Martita following her elimination. Hear what she had to say about the competition and learn her thoughts on the remaining finalists in an exclusive exit interview.

Go Behind the Scenes

See what the mentors, finalists and crew are up to between takes by checking out insider photos from the set.

More: Behind the Scenes of Food Network Star, Season 11

Want More Food Network Star?

Check out Food Network's official Star headquarters for more insider coverage of the competition, plus exclusive mentor interviews, behind-the-scenes photos and winning recipes.

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