Amani chopped, minced, diced, and puréed as fast as she could, all the while sending anxious glances over her shoulder to find David focused with his own tasks. Despite his brisk movements, he appeared calm, with nary a glimmer of nerves or sweat to hint at his thoughts and emotions. Drops of sweat beaded on Amani's forearms, not merely from the heat of the ovens or the steam wafting from pots on the stove, but also from stress and frustration. David was driving her crazy, well, crazier than she had expected. Standing just a few feet away, he was busy preparing the sauce for his Peruvian-inspired Camarones Salteados, a bowl of shrimp waiting near his elbow waiting to be shelled and deveined before he popped them in the oven in order to get them done on time – without overcooking of course.
Amani glanced at the clock, and then wished she hadn't. Could they pull it off? She glanced quickly at the judges, but saw only bland expressions on their faces, dashing her hopes that they would be fascinated by their efforts.
Amani Jefferson was, at least according to her friends, a beautiful second-generation Jamaican, typically filled with enthusiasm and joie de vivre that many of her friends admired. At the moment, however, her mood was sour, and one look at David's expression caused her to glower even more....