Bobby and Giada Reveal Their Keys to Success As Food Network Stars

Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis reflect on their own journeys to stardom.
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Selection Committee Giada de Laurentiis and Bobby Flay during the reveal of the Star Challenge, July 4th Cookout, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

When Food Network Star kicks off on May 22 (at 9|8c), mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will have one job before them: Find Food Network's next famous face. It's up to them to guide the rivals through 11 weeks of competition, challenge them to grow and improve, and ultimately decide who among them has the bright light of Star power — just like the mentors have. Recently Star Talk chatted with Bobby and Giada, who looked ahead to what's in store for the finalists this season and reflected on their own roads to stardom — and how they've claimed the spotlight as their own.

For Giada, the key to success is as simple as just being yourself and "being comfortable with who you are," she says. But that may be easier said than done, she explains. "That’s a tough place to get to, especially for women," she says, noting the double standard that's often expected of women. "For a long time in the beginning of my career, I really cared a lot about what everybody else thought of me, and that defined who I was and what I was doing," she adds. It turns out, though, that all it took for her to accept herself and feel true ease was time. "I think in my older years, being over 40 now, I’ve started to realize I just have to do what I want to do and not worry so much about what everybody else thinks, because truly I’m not going to make everyone happy," she says. "I’m not going to be the person everybody wants me to be." These days, her focus is on herself and her family, she tells us. "So as long as I can get up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and be happy with who I am, and my immediate family is OK with who I am, I think that’s a success."

Bobby says professional growth has been a large driver of his success. He notes his willingness to adapt as the landscape changes around him. "Trying to be better every day and being open to trying new things and evolving as the times evolve and then the viewers evolve," he explains. "I think that that’s really important."

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Tune in to the premiere of Food Network Star on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c.

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