The eighth season of Food Network’s primetime series Food Network Star is set to premiere with a special two-hour episode Sunday, May 13 2012. This time they are coming back with a brand new format, which means that there are three 5-people teams.

This season the mentors/producers are Bobby Flay (host of Grill It! with Bobby Flay), Giada De Laurentiis (host of Everyday Italian), and Alton Brown (host of Iron Chef America). They each have a team to lead, team that they have put together themselves, put together of people they feel have the most potential. How the casting process looked like can be seen on Food Network May 12, 2012, when the casting special airs.

Meet season eight teams –

Team Alton (follow them in twitter – #TeamAlton)

  • Judson Allen, 30, Catering Company Owner
  • Martie Duncan, “slightly over 40”, Blogger & party planner
  • Emily Ellyn, 29, College student
  • Cristie Schoen, 35, Caterer
  • Justin Warner, 27, Chef and restaurant owner

Team Bobby (follow them in twitter – #TeamBobby)

  • Eric Lee, 44, Winery executive chef
  • Nikki Martin, 31, Private chef & Food and Beverage consultant
  • Malcolm Mitchell, 41, Private chef
  • Michele Ragussis, 42, Executive chef
  • Kara Sigle, 31, Catering Company Owner

Team Giada (follow them in twitter – #TeamGiada)

  • Phillip “Ippy” Aiona, 23, Executive chef
  • Martita Jara, 35, Newlywed & self-taught chef
  • Yvan Lemoine, 30, Bartender & cook for the French consulate
  • Josh Lyons, 42, Restaurant consultant & Sushi chef
  • Linkie Marais, 28, Cake baker

While we know what the team leader’s role is, Bob Tuschman from Food Networks says that “Having Bobby, Giada and Alton compete against each other to discover and develop the next Food Network Star took this series to a whole new level /…/ These three iconic star/producers are ideal mentors for the talented hopefuls they found – but it’s hard to say if the competition was more intense among the finalists or their three Star mentors.”

Each of the episodes will have different challenges for the contestants and in the end the Food Network Star will be decided by the audience. The final episode will take air June 22.