With the 12th season of Food Network Star underway, culinary icons Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are busy trying to discover the next food television star. As hopefuls are put through the ringer with tasks that test their kitchen skills and on-camera chops, our current star chefs have a few words of wisdom to share.

Bobby Flay says: “Be original.”

The host of Beat Bobby Flay and one of the judge-mentors on Food Network Star says competitors need to be unique. Trying to mimic someone who is already on the network won’t get you very far.

Giada De Laurentiis says: “Don’t over rehearse.”

Having hosted an array of shows including Giada Entertains and Giada in Italy, this star knows a thing or two about communicating on camera. “If you’re going to over rehearse what you’re going to do and say, you tend to come off as cold and inaccessible,” she says, adding that it’s more genuine when someone’s not trying to be perfect all the time.

Guy Fieri says: “Don’t burn tape.”

As host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for 24 seasons now, Guy learned early on that a star must always live in the moment — especially on camera. If you make a mistake, Guy says, just keep rolling and keep going.

Rachael Ray says: “It’s not all about the food.”

The chef and host of shows like 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day says it’s important to hone your storytelling skills. The more you connect with the audience, the more excited they’ll be to share that experience with their families. “Every time they tune in, they’re going to be entertained and they want to share time with you. It can’t just be about the food, because mostly everyone knows how to cook a piece of chicken.”

Geoffrey Zakarian says: “Own who you are!”

Host of the new series Cooks vs. Cons, and probably the swankiest talent on our roster, Geoffrey explains that as long as you’ve got self-confidence, any mistake you make on camera isn’t that important. “It’s how you come across, how you hide it,” he says.

Robert Irvine says: “Picture your mom in the audience.”

The host of Restaurant Impossible understands that a bunch of cameras can be intimidating for a newcomer. Robert says picturing someone special to you, like your mom or boyfriend, can help dialogue sound more natural.

Catch all new episodes of Food Network Star Sundays at 9 E/P.