My Kitchen Rules 2017: meet the teams

L to R: Group 1: Damo, Caz, Karen, Ros, Ash, Bek, Amy, Tyson, Betty, David, Tim, Kyle.

18 teams will battle it out for the $250,000 prize on My Kitchen Rules this year.

There will be three groups of 6 duos competing, the same as 2016.

Amongst the teams this year are the first Lebanese team, and teams with Vietnam, Laos, Indian and Cantonese cuisines, and “the year of the pickle.”

A mystery judge will join Pete Evans, Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge this year with Karen Martini, Guy Grossi and Liz Egan as guest judges.

Here are select bio passages from the Seven media kit:

GROUP 1

Damo & Caz, TAS – Tassie Sweethearts
Signature Dish
Damo: Poached pears in a spiced red wine sauce with cinnamon ice cream. It’s a spin on one of my favourite dishes that mum used to make me when I was little.
Caz: Roast chicken and vegetables. This dish is special to me because I grew up eating a roast with my family every Sunday and now I cook one for my family every Sunday. I also make a yummy relish from tomatoes grown in our vegetable garden.

David & Betty, NSW – #JustFriends
“As a team, we love that we are straight forward with one another,” says Betty.
“We’re like brother and sister and we’re going to stand up for each other no matter what happens,” adds David.
The main thing that brought them together after meeting in a body piercing parlour was their backgrounds – David’s family came to Australia on a boat from Vietnam, while Betty’s family are from Laos.
“We are so proud of our culture,” Betty says. “Both our mums are amazing cooks.”

Karen & Ros, VIC – Midwives
Food Philosophy
To cook fresh, nutritious and flavoursome dishes, that we plate up and serve with love, which make our families and friends feel nourished and nurtured.
Strength
Sweet.

Bek & Ash, WA – Flirty Flatmates
“We live in hope that we will find our dream men,” says self-proclaimed flirt Bek. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so it’s a good thing that we can cook.”
But these flirtatious flatmates warn they’re not to be underestimated.
“We will be bringing our A game,” says dental nurse Ash.
“We’re very intelligent and driven women,” adds Bek, a vet surgeon. “We’ve swiped left, we’ve swiped right and now we’ve got our game faces on.”

Tim & Kyle, SA – Pub Mates
“I first learned to cook with my dad who’s a chef,” says Tim. “I’m keen to
get into the kitchen and show the teams what we can do. I quit my job for this competition so it’s really important we do well.”
“We came here to win!” adds Kyle.
The single, self-described social butterflies enjoy beer, live music, beer, socialising, beer, the footy and their mates!

Amy & Tyson, QLD – Serious Siblings
Strength
Savoury.
In the Kitchen
Amy is big picture; Tyson is more details- oriented. Amy is generally quite bossy and a natural leader while Tyson is good at taking direction (and blocking her out when needed). But they can interchange roles to get the job done.

GROUP 2

Albert & Dave, NSW – Brothers
Albert, 35, and Dave, 28, from Sydney’s northwest are hoping to show everybody that Cantonese cuisine is the best.
“We’re originally from Hong Kong but moved to Australia when I was three and Albert was 11,” says Dave. “Our hope is to deliver authentic Cantonese cuisine.”
“Otherwise, mum will not be happy,” warns Albert.
The boys were taught to cook by their mother, Cecilia, who is herself a popular cook and broadcaster in the Chinese community, and believe that will give them a “humongous” advantage in the competition.
“We really want to do our mum proud because she’s supported us her whole life,” says single Dave, who is CEO of a successful online retail business.

Kelsey & Amanda, NSW – Sisters
Strength
Amanda’s strength lies in savoury dishes while Kelsey’s is with sweet.
In the Kitchen
They work really well together and can pre-empt what the other is thinking. Kelsey is the bossy one but Amanda is happy to let that bossiness glide by to get the job done.

Court & Duncan, VIC – Married Hipsters
Happily married Melbourne couple Court, 29, and Duncan, 34, love cooking together and their fur baby Ted, an English staffy.
“I’m the king of protein,” says Duncan, a project manager.
“And I’m the salad ninja,” says Court, a designer.
Court was a vegetarian and a vegan for a lot of her life. Now she eats meat, but tries to do so responsibly. Meanwhile, meat lover Duncan’s pride and joy is his offset smoker which he’s fondly named, Willie Nelson.

Josh & Amy, WA – Seafood Lovers
Signature Dish
Josh: Chilli mussels, so tasty!
Amy: Chilli mud crab because to me it’s a celebration dish. We go out and catch the mud crabs ourselves, cook them ourselves, then enjoy a hard day’s work by devouring them with friends!

Della & Tully, QLD – Foodie Friends
“Nobody can believe that I’m a construction lawyer, but I am,” laughs perfectionist Della.
“Being Maltese, I learnt to cook as I was learning to eat and I’ve had lots of key influences on my cooking,” she adds.
“I really see MKR as a journey for helping me hone in on my skills in the hope of having a career in
food one day.”
“Dinner parties with Della are like no other,” says Tully. “The more the merrier is definitely the motto.”

Alyse & Matt, QLD – Ambitious Newlyweds
Strength
Sweet.
In the Kitchen
Alyse is head chef and Matt, who is great with a knife, is her sous chef. Alyse plans out their time in the kitchen and Matt is good at tasting and tweaking as they go. Matt likes a really strong, knock-your-socks-off flavour, whereas Alyse likes something a little bit more subtle.
Matt is a procrastinator while Alyse is go-go-go. Alyse stresses out whereas Matt remains calm.

GROUP 3

Mark & Chris, VIC – Footy Friends
Footy loving best mates from Melbourne, Mark, 32, and Chris, 33, met in high school and admit they don’t take themselves too seriously.
“I’ve got two of the best kids in the world,” says single father Mark. “I’m teaching them to be Hawthorn supporters”.
“More like brainwashing them!” teases newly married Chris. “I met my wife Bianca 11 years ago. She’s probably the best thing that’s happened to me… besides Mark.”

Caitie & Demi, VIC – Besties
Home Cook Heroes
Caitie: My grandma is a 5ft pocket rocket and cooks everything for our whole family on her own. She insists that for family occasions we should go out to a restaurant, but she always ends up cooking enough food for an army at her house.
Demi: My mum and dad.

Lama & Sarah, SA – Cousins
MKR’s first Lebanese team, Adelaide cousins, Lama, 34, and Sarah, 33, are set to bring Middle Eastern fire to the table.
“We’re cousins, we love each other dearly, but we fight a lot as well,” admits Sarah, a hair and make-up artist.
“But no matter how much we bicker, we know we can put it aside,” adds finance broker Lama. “The love is there.”
The passionate duo have done almost everything together and enjoy the exciting things in life like skydiving and motorbike riding.

Brett & Marie, QLD – First Loves
Strength
Savoury.
In the Kitchen
They are both assertive. Brett is more of the leader, but Marie doesn’t just follow. They know what needs to be done and are both willing to allow the other person to run with an idea. They are pretty easy going people in general and this is also the case in the kitchen – they work well together and just get on with the job.
Home Cook Heroes
Brett: Anthony Bourdain, René Redzepi, Magnus Nilsson, Andrew Zimmern, Luke Nguyen.
Marie: Maggie Beer.

Valerie & Courtney, QLD – Mother & Daughter
Valerie and Courtney study their past for success in the future, drawing on their Anglo Indian roots.
“Our recipes have been passed down through generations,” says Courtney.
“I have a book of my father’s recipes that’s been with me for about 44 years,” reveals Valerie. “I think it’s going to be our secret weapon.”
“I always remember mum in the kitchen cooking and in earlier times my Poppy,” says Courtney. “I liked to help out where I could and learned a lot from watching on.”
“You’ve never seen food like ours,” promises Valerie.

Mell & Cyn, NSW – Business Women
Signature Dish
Mell: Satay chicken, profiteroles and chocolate eclairs. I really love to cook all types of Asian food and also many different types of desserts.
Cyn: I don’t really have just one. But my meatballs are special to me because it took a lot of meatballs for my husband to give it the tick of approval.

Monday January 30 on Seven.

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