Ten home cooks from across the country are paired up with some of Food Network's biggest names — Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon — in the new culinary competition All-Star Academy, hosted by Ted Allen. Each home cook, with the guidance and support from his or her Food Network mentor, competes in intense culinary challenges; each mentor's reputation is on the line during the eight episodes, as each mentor hopes his or her pupil will make it to the finish line. One by one, the home cooks are eliminated by special guest judges who determine which dishes are not up to par. One home cook will be left standing, winning bragging rights and a $50,000 grand prize.
For the first time ever, best friends Bobby Flay and Michael Symon try to take each other's teams down when all the mentors battle head-to-head for a crucial advantage. Special guest judge Elizabeth Falkner helps get in on the action, determining which home cook is sent home.
For the first time the mentors join forces to achieve victory: Bobby, Alex, Curtis and Michael become two super teams, to make the most spectacular three-course steak dinner with their home cooks. The losing team goes from friends to instant enemies as they cook off against each other in the elimination round, judged by Chopped judge Amanda Freitag and Chef John Li.
Five home cooks remain as the mentors battle head-to-head to bring back an eliminated contestant of their choice, facing tough ingredients to make a dish worthy of a second chance. When the eliminated contestant returns, it's time for the six home cooks to battle it out in front of special guest judge Donatella Arpaia, to see who goes home in the elimination round.
Food Network star Robert Irvine steps in to fill the mentors' shoes, coaching and guiding the home cooks as they are challenged to cook with canned meats. Then, the mentors become the judges, doing a blind taste test to determine which three home cooks will compete in the elimination round.