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The Pastry Queen

Linkie Marais, a pastry chef and cake designer originally from South Africa, was eliminated from Team Giada in Episode 6. Her lack of confidence was her own worst enemy.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Linkie's Journal

In her Star journal, Linkie jotted down notes for each challenge and listed out recipes and dish ideas to keep in her back pocket.

Restaurant: Impossible

The season's first challenge was a tough one: Open a restaurant from the ground up in 24 hours. Linkie's warm personality led her team to nominate her as their hostess. She also volunteered to take on dessert.

First Challenge

Linkie and some of her teammates headed to Restaurant Depot to shop for their California-inspired menu. For her own dish, Linkie made Key lime pie. The judges weren't crazy about her use of condensed milk.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Back-Pocket Recipes

The finalists are not allowed to bring recipes to the competition, so Linkie jotted down a couple from memory.

Key Lime Pie

Unfortunately, Linkie's first dessert didn't go over well. Alton called the Key lime pie "cafeteria" food. She was determined to redeem herself, and in later episodes she was able to prove her pastry chops.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Sweet and Savory

Of course, Linkie knew she couldn't get by in the competition on desserts alone. On the left page, she wrote out a list of savory dish ideas.

Italian Inspiration

The next challenge brought Team Giada to Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy of the Bronx, to lead a food tour. Linkie appropriately chose Palombo Pastry Shop and set out to make a cheesecake inspired by their famous cannolis.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Arthur Avenue

Linkie interviewed the owners of Palombo, writing out a list of questions and quickly jotting down answers in her journal.

Redemption

The resulting ricotta cheesecake that Linkie prepared was a hit. Giada loved it and Alton admitted that this dessert was far from cafeteria food.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Presentation Prep

For her bus tour presentation, Linkie wrote out what she wanted to say in her journal, word for word. It worked this time, but in later challenges her strategy of writing out a script would come back to bite her.

Great Expectations

In Episode 3, the finalists faced Chopped baskets and had to make desserts with the wacky ingredients inside. "The fact that I'm the dessert queen adds pressure," Linkie said. "I have to nail it."

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Back-to-Back Challenges

Linkie did nail the Chopped challenge, with Alex Guarnaschelli calling her chocolate mousse "beautiful." She was less successful in the Fashion Week challenge that came next, which she outlines here in her journal. Her over-rehearsed script caused her to stumble in her presentation.

Bring It

Team Giada's live special with Guy Fieri was game-day themed, and although Linkie didn't know much about American football, she did know how to make adorable and delicious football-shaped cookies.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Game Time

Linkie wrote out the recipe for her football-shaped "crunchy cookies with cranberry filling" in her journal. On the opposite page, she can't contain her excitement after the judges' and mentors' reaction: "Giada loves the cookie! Susie says cookie is ready to be packaged! Bobby wants to order 3 dozen!"

Food-Court Cuisine

After the Game Day win, Linkie was feeling good. But creating a Mexican dish for Team Giada's food-court kiosk left her stumped: "I don't even know what they serve for dessert in Mexico!" With Martita's help, she decided to make churros and spicy hot chocolate.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Downfall Dish

Linkie's churros came out too crunchy and she tried to recover by explaining that they weren't traditional. Still, her confidence was shaken and it showed when she presented the dish to the judges: "I'm so stressed about my churros, I can't even think." She ended up in the bottom.

One Last Shot

Linkie faced Nikki in a Producers' Challenge that focused on turning ordinary chicken — FoodNetwork.com's most-searched ingredient — into an extraordinary dish. Linkie was eager to prove to the judges that she wasn't a one-trick pony and could make impressive savory dishes.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Giada's Pitch

Giada told Bob and Susie that Linkie reminded her of herself when she started: "I too grew up speaking two languages. She has come a long way in a short amount of time and I'm very proud of her. She's doing something that took me several years to master." Though Bob and Susie called Linkie's spiced rum chicken "delicious" and loved her natural warmth on camera, it was her confidence issues that ultimately sent her home.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.