The votes have already been cast for season eight's Food Network Star.
The votes have already been cast for season eight's Food Network Star. Before the winner is announced on the finale this Sunday at 9 p.m./8c, we spoke to Giada De Laurentiis on her experience as a mentor, her favorite recipe from the season, and who she's betting will win.
YumSugar: What's it like being a mentor on Food Network Star?
Giada De Laurentiis: In the past we have said that I was a mentor, but truly, I didn't really get a chance to mentor these folks. I think I learned a lot, and I feel emotionally invested in the show. I think you'll find that's what it was like for Bobby Flay and Alton Brown, as well. I really felt like [the people on my team] were almost my kids. I felt so emotionally invested in their future and in their performances.
YS: What was the most important lesson you learned from your team?
GDL: I think that one of the most important lessons I have learned from my team is that sometimes we try desperately to turn someone into something that we think they should be, when really we need to let them grow on their own. I learned that 10 weeks isn't always enough to polish that gem. It's important that [the contestants] stay true to who they are. As much as I want to make them grow and move faster, the experience of turning them into these stars takes time, and I need to be more patient.
Find out Giada's favorite recipe from the show and who she thinks will win.