My Kitchen Rules

The “MasterChef effect” is taking hold of fans of cooking shows with homeware stores reporting big sales thanks to TV shows.

The likes of MasterChef New Zealand and New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker are inspiring viewers to try their hand at cooking what they see on the shows and are spending up large to do so.

Homeware stores are benefiting from what is being called the “MasterChef effect” with viewers trying to emulate the feats of the contestants on the shows.

Karen Michaud, manager of Millie’s Kitchen, said her store had regularly sold out of products that had been featured the night before on TV.

“We get plenty of people coming and asking ‘we saw this on MasterChef- do you have it?”‘ Michaud said.

“Most of it is for baking products – and quite technical things. People want to decorate their cakes … like never before.”

Staff from Stevens said the non-stick cookware products from Circulon have proved incredibly popular due to their use on MasterChef and the MasterClass segments.

Australian stores reported a similar effect last year thanks to the success of MasterChef Australia and My Kitchen Rules.

Source: Herald

7:30pm Tuesday, December 7 on TV2

The winners are crowned tonight in the grand final of TV2 reality series My Kitchen Rules.

Watch the fire works in the season finale as tempers sizzle and the food dazzles in the last phase of the competition between best mates from Victoria, Clint Yudelman and Noah Rose, and childhood sweethearts from Queensland, Veronica and Shadi Abraham.

Yudelman and Rose may be the young guns in the competition, but believe their youth has so far been their biggest advantage. “We are young, passionate and quick learners. We believe in ourselves and never settle for anything less than the best,” enthuses Yudelman (24).

These likeable lads have travelled extensively in their quest to learn more about their passion for food. From Thailand to India and road trips around Australia, they do more than your average backpacker and completely immerse themselves in the local culture, with the hope of learning more about authentic cuisines.

“I try everything when travelling and love to try as many different cuisines as I can. I love watching people cook in their local area and talking to them about their ingredients, recipes and techniques,” says Rose.

Interestingly, both Yudelman and Rose spent many years as vegetarians, a practice they believe has heightened their cooking skills. “I think you become more creative in the kitchen being a vegetarian,” says Yudelman. “You start to work with a lot of new flavours, meat substitutes and you cook with things you wouldn’t normally.”

Rose adds: “You need to be creative or it just becomes boring being a vegetarian. But it did expose me to many different vegetables and spices, so now I have that extra element to my cooking.”

The boys say their menus generally reflect their love of fresh seafood and that they fall into the modern Australian cooking genre. “And grabbing flavours from all the different parts of the globe where we’ve travelled,” says Yudelman.

Yudelman and Rose, as well as the Abrahams, will enter the My Kitchen Rules custom-designed restaurant space where they’ll battle it out for the My Kitchen Rules crown and $100,000 in prize money.

7:30pm Tuesday, November 30 on TV2

The finals continue tonight in TV2 reality series My Kitchen Rules.

In this week’s 90-minute episode, it’s Queensland versus Queensland as childhood sweethearts Veronica and Shadi Abraham go up against talented sister duo Tanja Smith and Genevieve Latham.

For fun-loving sisters Tanja and Genevieve, their love of cooking stems back to their childhood when they were growing up on a farm in Sheldon, Queensland.

As their parents, German-born Hans and Kiwi Maxine, worked the land, Tanja remembers sitting with her mother on the lawn with a bowl of flour, a dozen eggs and water when she was just three-years-old. “They’d let me create my own mess,” she says. “Mum would then bake whatever I’d made, although they were rarely edible, and let me decorate it with icing.”

When little sister Genevieve, affectionately know as Miff, came along seven years later, Tanja showed her the ropes in the kitchen. Those early days inspired a lifelong love affair with food that continues to this day.

Now as working mothers, they use cooking as a means to escape the grind. “Cooking is an outlet for my creativity,” Tanja says. Genevieve adds, “I can’t dance and I can’t sing. But cooking is the one thing I feel comfortable doing.”

Together the sisters share a passion for fresh ingredients and teaching their children all about where food comes from. “I don’t believe you need to grate vegetables and hide them in spaghetti bolognaise,” Tanja says. “I believe given a chance, kids will fall in love with vegetables in their natural state. They just need to know where they come from. That’s why we get out children to assist in the growing and preparation of food.”

Although balancing work and family isn’t easy, Genevieve believes it’s all about time management and getting the children involved. “I just get up that 15 minutes earlier so if it means chopping up vegetables while I’m eating my breakfast I do it,” she says. “I have the kids up on the bench with me so they can see exactly what I’m doing and where the food is coming from.”

The duo believes their closeness will serve them well in the competition. “We cook together all the time but also hang out with the kids and go camping together. We work really well as a team,” says Tanja.

While plating up is Tanja’s specialty, Genevieve is a whiz at desserts and even helped a friend bake a two-tier wedding cake last year. “Sweets are my thing,” she says.

Simplicity is the key for the no-frills pair. “As working mums, it’s all about getting good, wholesome food on the plate in a timely manner,” Tanja says.

Genevieve adds, “we may not be the fanciest or the most experimental, but we do meals that we know fill people up and that they will enjoy.”

In tonight’s episode, both teams will enter the My Kitchen Rules custom-designed restaurant space to fight for a place in the grand final. They’ll be lots of surprises, guest judges and exciting challenges in store as the teams fight it out for the My Kitchen Rules crown and $100,000 in prize money.

7:30pm Tuesday, November 23 on TV2

Southern Australian flatmates Paul Wood and Melissa Heilmann team up this week as the culinary competition continues in TV2’s reality series My Kitchen Rules.

After meeting at work five years ago – Wood as a project manager and Heilmann as a senior finance officer – the 27-year-old pair have become inseparable. “We know each other so insanely well that I can anticipate what Paul is going to do about 30 seconds before he does it,” Heilmann says.

Wood adds, “we’ve lived together, worked together and travelled together. We have a really tight friendship.”

The dynamic duo shares a mutual love of food and dinner parties. “I love being able to create things,” Wood enthuses. And Heilmann agrees: “Working in accounting doesn’t allow me to be creative, but in the kitchen I can experiment and let my imagination run wild.”

Wood’s passion for food stems back to his teens, when he had aspirations to become a chef. “My parents wanted me to play football and cricket but all I wanted to do was cook,” he remembers. “It was a creative thing. I could get into the cupboard and make whatever I wanted.”

Unfortunately, an uninspiring home economics teacher dashed his dreams of a cooking career. “She never had a good thing to say about anybody’s food,” Wood says. But it’s all worked out for the best. The decision allowed him to pursue his other passion – architecture – and now he gets to cook for fun.

As for Heilmann, her Irish mum Anne is responsible for sparking her interest in cooking. “Some of my earliest memories are helping mum in the kitchen,” she says. “I remember cooking my first roast at the age of nine. As I got older I’d experiment with different salads, trying to sway mum from her traditional potato salad and coleslaw. I wanted new, contemporary and innovative ideas even from a young age.”

Specialising in modern Australian cuisine, Wood and Heilmann share an affinity for cooking with game meat. “I had a lot of meat issues as a kid,” says Wood. “The way meat was prepared for me as a child completely turned me off. The first time I had perfectly cooked kangaroo was my first introduction back into the red-meat world. It didn’t have any gristle in it and it was cooked perfectly.”

Parties at their Adelaide abode are always fun and often themed. They’ve hosted everything from Alfred Hitchcock nights to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and weekly urban dinners, where guests enjoy regional dishes.

Wood boasts, “we rock the kitchen, we know how to throw a great party and we can match our food with fantastic wine.”

7:30pm Tuesday, November 2 on TV2

The competition heats up for two passionate Adelaide foodies as they prepare to transform their home into an instant restaurant for one pressure-cooker night in TV2 reality series My Kitchen Rules.

Matt Michaelis (41) and Melissa Edwards (37) may be divorced, but food and the love of their eight-year-old son, Max, binds them – together they feel they’re sending a positive message to other divorcees and to Max. “We’re setting an example to our son about having a go and that despite our situation we can work together,” says Edwards.

Miichaelis says they’ve both been able to out the welfare of Max ahead of their own differences. “We have a beautiful son who we both love dearly. We try to ensure he has a happy, balanced life and that he understands that through no fault of his own, we’re not together.”

The duo, who split seven years ago, have instilled in Max a healthy appetite for food. “He has quite an established palette and his own opinions on food,” Michaelis says. “He likes to try new things and will eat almost anything.”

Similarly, Michaelis and Edwards inherited their love of food from their respective families. “My father worked remotely so one of the things my mother and I used to do together is bake,” Matt recalls. “We’d make things in preparation for when he’d come home. From licking the spoon to actually learning to make the cake, there was always something to keep me entertained in the kitchen.”

Edwards remembers, “my grandparents were involved in the Gourmet Club in Broken Hill and Grandpa was the local butcher. Going to their home was always a treat of smoked meats, jams, sauces preserves and freshly pickled fruit.”

While Edwards works as a wine rep, Matt is a teetotaller who’s only drunk three mouthfuls of alcohol in his life. “[Our marriage] was never going to work out,” Melissa laughs.

Matt’s weakness is chocolate especially Haigh’s, which originated in their hometown of Adelaide. “Instead of a liquor cabinet I have a chocolate cupboard,” he says. “I probably spend about $400 a month on chocolate and consume up to a kilogram a day.”

Edwards dreams of one day starting up her own business. “I would love to operate a providore with home-style and healthy meals to go for busy people.”

Matt, who’s a one-time personal trainer and security guard turned concrete specialist, wants to encourage more men to get into the kitchen. “A lot of men are scared of cooking. They hate to fail. I’d like to see men get away from barbecues and into the kitchen. It’s not a woman’s domain.”

The couple are quick to allay any suggestion the competition may reignite sparks between them. Michaelis firmly states, “any speculation that this may bring us together we can annihilate in one sentence. We are happily divorced!”

7:30pm Tuesday, October 19 on TV2

The competition heats up as judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel call in at another instant restaurant tonight on My Kitchen Rules.

This week, Sophia Lindsay (35) and Rowan Booth (25) transform an ordinary home into an instant restaurant for one pressure-cooker night.

They’ll be serving up a three-course menu designed to impress fellow contestants and the celebrated chefs and series judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.

Both Lindsay and Booth told Channel 7 that jumping into the kitchen together was a natural progression for them as food-loving workmates. “We discovered pretty quickly that we’re both obsessed with food,” says Lindsay, who works as the creative services manager at the same company where Booth is a data analyst.

“All out friends know we’re the ones sitting in a corner at a party chatting about the food we’re eating and how it was made,” he adds.

Since they started working together a year ago, the office has been treated to a few treats, including a ‘gravy-off’. “We were comparing our roasts one day and both talking up our gravy,” says Rowan. So we decided to judge whose really was the best and we bought a sample in to work for our workmates to judge.”

While Lindsay walked away with the inaugural crown, Booth is itching for a rematch. Until then they’ll be combining their recipes as they aim for a bigger crown together in the My Kitchen Rules competition.

Having both lived in the country during their childhoods, Lindsay says they have similar food upbringings. “It was all about our nans’ pavlovas, trifle, sponge cakes, all traditional country style meals,” says Lindsay.

While Booth admits to still cooking hearty, country style foods such as casseroles, fruit and nut cake and sticky date pudding, Lindsay believes her culinary creativity has morphed into modern Australian cuisine.

“I’ve had a lot of influences from friends I’ve met along the way, people I’ve worked with and other friends’ parents. So I’d say I’m pretty broad in terms of technique and flavour and it’s very modern Australian,” she says.

Aside from their love of food, they also share a special love for their dogs and often take Lindsay’s Labrador retriever and Booth’s kelpies to the beach for walks together. “We enjoy our puppy dates as it gives us a chance to talk about food,” says Lindsay.

While we are both happy in our current jobs, Lindsay says she’d love to one day get into food styling, while Booth aspires to have his own cookbook and caf�.

“Although,” says Booth, “I wouldn’t cope well with writing a cookbook because I rarely follow a recipe. I’m more likely to go with my instincts.”

At the end of each night, the visiting teams and judges will mark their dinner event to give them a total score out of 100. The best teams will move forward to the My Kitchen Rules finals in which they’ll compete in a custom-designed restaurant space.

7:30pm Tuesday, October 5 on TV2

The knives will be out as Australia’s best home-cooks battle it out on My Kitchen Rules.

It’s state versus state, plate against plate, as five teams-of-two from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane attempt to out-dine and out-wine each other to see whose kitchen rules. The cooking teams will take turns each episode to transform an ordinary home into an instant restaurant for one pressure-cooker night. They’ll be serving up a three-course menu designed to impress not only their fellow contestants but the esteemed judges, chefs Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.

At the end of each night, the other teams and the judges will mark the host’s dinner event separately to give them a total score out of 100.The best teams will move forward to the My Kitchen Rules finals in which they’ll compete in a custom-designed restaurant space. They’ll be lots of surprises, guest judges and exciting challenges in store as they fight it out for the My Kitchen Rules crown and $100,000 in prize money.

Judge and award-winning restaurateur Pete Evans is a man of many talents – he is a respected chef, businessman and dad. He is also looking forward to his stint on My Kitchen Rules.

“I love people’s home cooking – that excites me more than restaurant meals sometimes. You can taste people’s passion when they’re cooking for you at home,” he says. “People have to eat food every day so everyone can learn from cooking shows. It’s all about educating people and I love sharing my love of food with others.”

For fellow judge, Manu Feildel, it appeared that he was always destined for a career in food. His great grandfather was a pastry chef, his grandfather and father were both chefs and his mother is also a great cook.

But at 13, Manu was actually training to be a performing circus clown and had plans to join the carnie life. It wasn’t until two years later he gave into fate and directed his passion to food. He began a chef apprenticeship at his father’s bistro before progressing to a fine dining restaurant where he completed his training.

The sexy French chef, who now calls Australia home, can’t wait to see what the contestants have to offer. “I’m just happy that finally Australians want to be cooking at home. When I first arrived 10 years ago, it was a very different story. Now people want to cook and become professionals themselves. It’s a very exciting time.”

7:30pm Tuesday, September 21 on TV2

Tonight My Kitchen Rules travels to Western Australia where husband and wife team Marc and Natalie Ferron get ready to fire up the competition.

The cooking teams will take turns each episode to transform an ordinary home into an instant restaurant for one pressure-cooker night. They’ll be serving up a three-course menu designed to impress fellow contestants and celebrated chefs and series judges, Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.

Will the Ferron’s be able to out-dine and out-wine the other states and move towards the finals or will they get the chop?

7:30pm Tuesday, August 31 on TV2

The knives are coming out as Australia’s best home cooks battle it out for a $100,000 prize in My Kitchen Rules.

It’s state versus state, plate against plate, as five teams-of-two from Australia attempt to out-dine and out-wine each other to see whose kitchen rules. The cooking teams will take turns each episode to transform an ordinary home into an instant restaurant for one pressure-cooker night. They’ll be serving up a three-course menu designed to impress not only their fellow contestants, but also the series judges, restaurateurs Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.

Evans says he’s expecting great things from the contestants’ menus. “I’d love to see a dish that I’ll remember forever. They’re not just cooking for their mates – they have to impress me.”

“When I walk into these contestant homes, I want an authentic experience,” he continues. “Some of the best meals I’ve ever had aren’t at Three Chef’s Hat restaurants [the highest mark of quality in Australian eateries] – it’s in peoples’ homes.”

Feildel has similarly high expectations from the budding chefs, saying he’s looking for, “the best of the best. If you think you can run a restaurant, here’s your chance.”

The French chef compares great cooking to narrative art.

“Putting a menu together is like a story, it takes skills. There’ll be criticism from me if they don’t tell a story.”

On tonight’s premiere episode, husband-and-wife duo Matthew and Gabrielle Moss are the first to devise and prepare a three-course menu. Matthew, a police officer, sees cooking as a form of escapism from his dangerous profession.

“Cooking for me is 180 degrees from the police. I’ve been shot and I’m very lucky to be alive – when I was in the hospital the priest gave me the last rites. My whole attitude to life has changed since that shooting. Cooking is a great escape for me. The most important things to me now are my family and my food.”

The pair feel the heat as they battle the clock and their nerves to plate up on time, and at the end of the night they’re given scores by the visiting teams and judges. Have they done enough to stake a claim on the huge prize fund?

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of My Kitchen Rules will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.