The Best Moments of Comeback Kitchen, Season 3

They're baaaaack. And better than ever? Maybe.

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Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Week 3: Destination Deli

It’s finale week, and for the last Mentor Challenge, Valerie and Tyler ask the hopefuls to turn classic Jewish deli dishes like latkes and bagels with lox into internationally inspired fare. For Sarah, that means putting an Indian twist on matzo ball soup, a dish she’s never had and isn’t familiar with. Her solution? Meatballs in a sauce that’s, unfortunately, more akin to gravy than soup, but at least the flavor is on-point.

Yaku Cam

The presentation element of the challenge tasks them with filming a series of Instastories to showcase the process of their dish. Yaku indeed captures some stories, but he made himself — not the food — the focus. And at that stage of the game, that’s enough to send him home. After an impressive run toward a comeback, Yaku’s Star mission is cut short.

The Final Four

In true Comeback fashion, the last Star Challenge is a doozy. In the middle of each person’s eight-minute live demo, they’ll share the screen and be peppered with questions from a fellow finalist. It’s all about multi-tasking and commanding an audience.

Spotlight On: Summer

Seasonal themes like grilling and picnics are on deck in the kitchen. While Jernard brings the meaty option with glazed duck, the rest of the group opts for seafood: tuna for Sarah and Amy, as well as a mix of shrimp, scallops and more for Adam.

Let’s Go Live

There’s no question that each of the remaining finalists have grown on camera, as each of them manages to present impressive live demos. However, there are hiccups along the way, especially for Jernard who leaves his audience confused his dual menu of duck and lemonade.

Expect the Unexpected

In a shocking twist that no one could have envisioned, both Adam and Amy earn tickets back to Season 14 of Food Network Star. Given their undeniable Star potential and the development in the competition, Tyler and Valerie decide to crown two winners for the first time in Comeback Kitchen history.

Week 2: Ready, Set, Retro

You know those old-school recipes tucked inside a decades-old cookbook? They sound a little strange — OK, a lot strange — but they were somehow popular back in the day? Those were the dishes the finalists confronted this week. They were to use the ingredients of dishes like Liver Pineapple and Southern Elegance (not so elegant, actually!) and turn them into something more fit for contemporary tastes.

A Crew of Many

Check out the team of people it takes to make a challenge like this possible. Multiple cameras surround Yaku and Adam as they work on their interpretations of Bananas Hollandaise and French Meat Platter, respectively.

Making Do, Barely

Sarah, Debbie and Amy all struggle with various aspects of their plans, prep and execution, but perhaps no one is as confused as Debbie. She’s working with Molded Fish, which is a fish that has been molded inside of something else — not at all a moldy fish. However, she misinterpreted the name to imply fermentation, and what results is more than a tad awkward … and the judges notice.

High Stakes

With such a short period of time until a Comeback winner must be chosen, Tyler and Valerie announce they’ll be eliminating one person for each of the remaining challenges. The finalists are shocked and nerves are high.

One Falls Short

Given her presentation woes and the unfortunate errors in her fish concept, Debbie says goodbye after the Mentor Challenge, while Amy and Adam earn top place and an advantage in the following challenge.

Mission: Pepper Perfection

In the Star Challenge focusing on reinvented delivery dishes, Trace opts to make a stuffed pepper — and if you remember his fateful challenge last year, you know that could be a problem for him. Lucky for him, his Mexican-inspired rendition with a pork filling is a hit for the judges, though his presentation is overly scripted, which means he falls among the bottom. His team captain, Amy, is safe, along with fellow teammate Sarah.

Mixed Results

Over on Adam’s team, there are some serious highs and lows. Jernard’s wings are stellar, but his presentation is weak, while Adam’s spaetzle is deemed dry by Valerie. Both land in the bottom. Yaku, however, manages to share a stand-out food photo and shrimp recipe, so he’s safe this week.

The End of Time

Just one week short of the finale, Trace is heading home, though not without having earned a bit of personal redemption. He did make a proper stuffed pepper, after all.

Week 1: They’re Baaaack

Eight previously eliminated finalists are back in Food Star Kitchen, and their first task is to conquer the demons that brought them down in the first place … maybe. They have to reinvent TV dinners while trying to overcome their then-fatal flaws. For some of them, though, it’s all too easy to fall into their old ways.

Settling In

Though some finalists like Adam haven’t been in the contest in 10 years, others like Jernard are more familiar faces, having competed just recently. Still, though, the pressure of these showdowns is intense no matter what, so everyone was forced to adjust to the challenge demands.

Lesson Learned

Sarah plans to make a stellar first impression on the judges, but when she takes too big of a bite in her Mentor Challenge presentation, she’s rendered nearly speechless as she chews. It. Is. Awkward.

Making Do

Come the Star Challenge, Monterey resorts to Plan B to salvage her Lime Panna Cotta after it fails to set up in the freezer. Her solution? Quick-fix ice cream courtesy of liquid nitrogen. While the judges appreciate the flavor her cereal dessert, her presentation is a miss, as it’s too inaccessible for home cooks.

Making Strides

Amy knows she has to open up this time around, and she wastes no time showing the mentors that she can do it. Her Star Challenge dish is an homage to the recipe — a peanut butter pie — she makes her for her husband. And the judges love it.

So Close but Not Enough

Monterey, Yaku and Sarah suffer mishaps this week, and they’re all up for potential elimination. But it’s Monterey who’s forced to say goodbye after back-to-back struggles in both of the premiere challenges.