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It's not easy being the first finalist eliminated from the competition, but Daniela handled her exit gracefully. During her brief time in the competition, this Peruvian-born chef de cuisine impressed the Selection Committee with her authentic potato bite, but she struggled to work the camera successfully.
In the first Mentor Challenge, the finalists had just 30 seconds to record pitch tapes that detailed their culinary points of view. Daniela was clear in her goal of the competition: "I would like to teach people about my culture and my country." But she struggled to find the words to describe that in front of the camera. "Take a deep breath," Giada advised her. "You know what to say."
For Daniela, the decision to create a Peruvian-inspired potato bite was a simple one, as the challenge tasked the finalists to put their personalities into their dishes. "I am making a very traditional Peruvian dish, Papas a la Huancaina. It takes potatoes ... and then it comes with this cheese-chili sauce," she explained. "This dish is so representative of my culture and my country."
Come elimination, the Selection Committee announced that Daniela was among the three least-successful finalists this week, along with Russell and Danushka. "She's got fabulous on-camera energy," Alton told his peers, "and then she opens her mouth." Giada was hopeful that Daniela could continue to turn out impressive dishes, but Bobby wondered, "I'm not really sure she's ready for this."
Daniela ultimately learned that she'd be the first to leave the competition, and she was quick to tell the panel, "Thank you so much for the opportunity." She left with her head held high, explaining: "You cannot win if you don't risk. And I'm going to keep on trying. This is not the last time the Peruvian Princess is going to be on TV."
The Star Talk blog chatted with Daniela about her experience on the show, thoughts about the challenges and plans for the future. Read her exclusive exit interview to find out what she had to say.