So it's no surprise that our twelve chefs have such distinct and awesome personalities. They're artists, they're mad scientists, they're feisty and funny, fiercely competitive, and they all have something to prove. Even meeting them for the first time and talking to them about their chocolate indulgences, it was totally clear we were in for one wild ride.
When we arrived at the chocolate tasting, the room was festive and elegant and the guests were all dressed up and seriously ready for the huge amounts of pure chocolate ecstasy that were about to unfold. The chefs seemed pretty nervous, seeing as how it was the first elimination challenge and Mr. Chocolate himself, Chef Jacques Torres, was in the house. It was my first time meeting all of them, and the first bites of their food I tasted.
Everyone had clearly thrown themselves into their work in their own ways (see: Eric's Zen Buddha folding ceremony), and everyone but Tania seemed to feel good about what they'd produced. It was clear from Tania's first word that she knew her mousse's texture just hadn't worked. But she put on a brave face. I think all the other chefs had been so focused on their own work, each one thought he or she had a shot. You have to, right? You do your best without comparing yourself to anyone else, you sell the judges on what you came up with, and the rest is out of your hands.