Hosts named for MKR NZ

MKR-NZ-hosts-300And you’ve still got a couple of weeks to get your applications in if you want to be on this show

Award-winning chefs Ben Bayly (The Grove, Baduzzi) and Gareth Stewart (Soul Bar and Bistro) will host My Kitchen Rules NZ, coming to TV ONE later this year.

Ben Bayly is currently Head Chef at both The Grove and Baduzzi in Auckland, and is renowned for his modern-style food using classic French cooking techniques.

Ben has had an illustrious career in senior chef roles at Michelin starred restaurants in London and France (The Ledbury & The Square (London), Restaurant Jean-Paul Jennet (France)).

Under his influence, The Grove holds the title of Supreme Winner of the Metro Audi Restaurant of the Year for 2010 & 2011, it was a finalist in Cuisine Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year from 2004 – 2011 and the winner of Cuisine Best Metropolitan Restaurant 2012.

“I’m so excited to be hosting My Kitchen Rules NZ alongside Gareth, who is a fantastic chef and friend. I’m a big fan of the Australian series, and know the Kiwi teams will give us their all,” says Ben.

“I’ll be looking for deep flavours and seasoning from the teams’ dishes, and complementary ingredients on the plate,” he adds.

Gareth Stewart hails from the UK and has been the Head Chef of Soul Bar and Bistro for almost seven years. He has put his stamp on the food at Soul and loves working with and inspiring his large and loyal kitchen team. Soul was the 2009 winner of Cuisine’s Restaurant of the Year.

Gareth has featured on The Best of New Zealand showing Kiwi men how entertaining can be done easily and look and taste great.

Gareth is thrilled to be judging My Kitchen Rules NZ, and cooking with this country’s seasonal offerings is something he’s embraced.

“I’m looking forward to seeing New Zealand’s best home-cooks show us what they’ve got in distinctive New Zealand locations with local foods and specialities. I’ll be looking for food with a flair incorporating great colours, flavours and textures – it’s really about getting the best from each product. Bring it on!” says Gareth.

TVNZ’s Head of Television, Jeff Latch says, “Ben and Gareth have been friends for years and their natural chemistry and camaraderie are bound to strike a chord with Kiwi audiences. We’re thrilled to have two such talented chefs and personalities on board for MKR NZ.”

Think you’ve got what it takes to impress Ben and Gareth? Don’t miss your chance to apply for My Kitchen Rules NZ! Head along to

Applications close at noon on March 31, 2014.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • roger

    These guys certainly have the credentials. They look like good choices.

  • Maggie

    Woohoo! This is going to be great! 🙂

    I love cooking up a storm in the kitchen but would never, ever audition for a show like this. It’s very clear that in any reality show (this, The Block, talent shows), that the people likely to get chosen are going to be those that do have a bit of the talent needed, but moreso they have buckets of personality which will keep the viewers glued to the screen. I know of a couple who entered The Block last year who did extremely well on the ‘audition weekend’ (which was like a set of DIY challenges) but they weren’t picked – probably because they were probably deemed a bit boring (really lovely people who never fight, and never get stressed out).

    Auditionees should also read the fine print in the contracts about producers having the right to show the contestants in whatever light they like via use of clever editing, aas well as the bit about contestants not being allowed to cash in on any offers they receive as a result of being on the show. That means, if say a sauce company likes you and offers you a job as their spokesmodel … you can’t accept it (or you probably can, but not for at least 12 months after the show has first aired, which is not that much use to the company as people will soon forget who you are).

    I wonder if it’s in the bag that Jesse Mulligan will get the hosting job … it would be nice to see another new face given that opportunity too.

    • K

      So I’ve never watched MKR before & in this morning’s announcement they’re calling Ben & Gareth hosts also
      So is there usually a host or are the judges hosts’ also? 🙂

      • Maggie

        Hi K 🙂

        The Aussie show does not have a host; it just has a voiceover man who is never seen. But for the New Zealand version, there was talk in one of the Sunday papers (last week) that auditions were being held for the 2 x judging, and 1 x hosting, roles.

        It doesn’t make sense to have a host as well as the judges … the host in The Great Food Race (Zoe) seems a bit surplus to requirements a lot of the time …

        • K

          Ahh thanks Maggie-appreciate it! 🙂

    • roger

      I hope hope hope that they don’t have a host. There is no need. Masterchef Australia had a host the first season, and then they realised there was no need.

  • Maggie

    PS: I really hope The Great Food Race comes back for a second season, but it’s not looking too good 🙁

    • Kyle Wadsworth

      I know! I actually love how different it is compared to your usual predictable cooking competitions.

  • Kyle Wadsworth

    God I hope this works. I already miss Pete and Manu

  • Danny TV Professional

    Ho hum… Ben’s complete lack of an upper lip and squeaky voice is going to take quite some getting used to! Pete and Manu they’re not. Trying to keep an open mind, but would rather they just showed the Aussie version… One of the escapist appeals of MKR is seeing bits of Aussie travelogue in the early stages – obviously love NZ, but yet another fast cut VT trying to glam up Levin, Dargaville or say Dannevirke with perma smile contestants will be very tiresome.

    • Maggie

      Oh no! There’s nothing more annoying than listening to men with squeaky voices :-/ They should’ve gotten in before TGFR and secured their (very cool) judges.

      I like the Aussie version but Pete has gone all weird of late – he’s got super skinny (probably too many of those activated almonds he goes on and on about), and far too brown (fake). He’s finishing up this season though – the Irish guy is taking over.

      Manu has just closed the doors to his Paddington restaurant because he didn’t give it enough attention and it suffered (from boring, overpriced food).

      • roger

        lots of people don’t like the “very cool” TGFR judges.

      • roger

        who is the Irish guy? He is really into his clean eating now. Must be hard to judge a programme with a lot of non-clean eating dishes!

    • Maggie

      I highly doubt anyone from Levin will get through – come on, now! Most people up there live on KFC, McDs, BK and Chinese takeaways.
      (Maybe Manakau, which is a rather elite little country town just down the road from Levin, but definitely not Levin itself!) 🙂

  • K

    Hey Regan-a post about MKR being on TV One instead of TV2 would be
    interesting! Seems funny to me having a show that did really good on TV2
    which appealed/targeted to the younger demographic be screened on TV1.

    Is it replacing MasterChef I wonder?

    • Harrison

      I believe it will be taking up NZGT’s timeslot.

      • roger

        will it be on more than once a week?

    • Maggie

      Oh, what?! No way – TV2 would be FAR better for this show! It rates very highly for the Aussie version (having it on 2) – why interfere with something that is working well?

      I feel like Masterchef has run its course.

      • roger

        tell that to the 450000 who watch it twice a week.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      Nothing stopping you from writing it 🙂

      • K

        I would happily, how can I do that?

    • Maggie

      Interesting. They must’ve copped a lot of flak for reporting that in the first place. I read it in a foodie blog, so if they were the original ‘source’ then shame on them. A bit of fact checking would be a prerequisite before going to print, no?