Food Network Star has announced the 12 hopefuls who will star on its eleventh season, which premieres Sunday, June 7 at 9PM ET/PT.

With Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay returning as judges and mentors, the 12 finalists will battle it out in a series of unique challenges designed to determine who has the personality, on-air charisma and cooking skills to potentially win their own show on Food Network.

The 12 finalists are Emilia Cirker from Reston, VA; Jay Ducote from Baton Rouge, LA; Christina Fitzgerald from St. Louis, MO; Rosa Graziano from Los Angeles, CA; Matthew Grunwald from Scottsdale, AZ; Eddie Jackson from Houston, TX; Michelle Karam from Santa Barbara, CA; Sita Lewis from New York, NY; Alex McCoy from Washington DC; Arnold Myint from Nashville, TN; Rue Rusike from Brooklyn, NY; and Dominick Tesoriero from Staten Island, NY.

"Each season, our viewers love following the journey of Food Network Star contestants as they develop from aspiring newcomer to confident pro," Food Network general manager and Senior VP Bob Tuschman said in a statement. "Having Giada and Bobby guide these finalists along is like watching a master class in food television."

Special guest judges this season will include Food Network personalities Sunny Anderson, Richard Blais, Anne Burrell, Melissa d'Arabian, Bobby Deen, Duff Goldman, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Damaris Phillips, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian, and comedian David Alan Grier.

In the season premiere of Food Network Star's eleventh-season, the 12 hopefuls will arrive in Los Angeles, meet the judges, produce a 30-second introductory video, and make their signature dish for a food festival the following day.

The videos will then be screened at the festival and the hopefuls' dishes will be tasted by Giada, Bobby, Tuschman, Food Network executive Susie Fogelson, and People magazine deputy editor J.D. Heyman. One finalist will be sent home while the remaining 11 will move forward in the competition.

Future episodes will feature a Fourth of July celebration, food truck and social media challenges, and a high-stakes television demo that goes live.

Hosted by Iron Chef's Alex Guarnaschelli and former Food Network Star winner Jeff Mauro, Star Salvation will also return to on Sunday, June 28. The web series will give one eliminated contestant the opportunity to rejoin the competition. The Star Salvation winner will eventually re-enter on Sunday, August 9.

The eleventh-season winner of Food Network Star, which is produced by LEG/Triage Entertainment, will be crowned on Sunday, August 16 at 9PM ET/PT.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.