Manu Feildel and Pete Evans are back with My Kitchen Rules next week and this year Seven says “it’s not just the teams who are opening their front doors.”
Last year there were 5 teams in each group, this year it is boosted to 8 (Seven has so far confirmed 2 groups).
Promising “supersized Instant Restaurants and an elimination twist that turns the competition on its head” this is the ninth season of the Seven series.
Pete and Manu are joined by Colin Fassnidge to help judge the new batch of aspiring home cooks. Also returning to Kitchen HQ are guest judges Karen Martini, Guy Grossi and Liz Egan.
Josh & Nic
NSW, Italiano Brothers
Italian brothers Josh (36) “the tall one” and Nic (33) “the short one” from the northwest suburbs of Sydney are con dent they’re headed straight to the top.
“We’re not worried,” Nic says. “Between running our family restaurant and cooking for our family, we’re used to a big mob.”
“Our fascination with food pretty much began when we were out of our mother’s womb,” Josh laughs.
Family, friends, food – and great clothes and hair – are very important to the suave siblings who own and run an Italian food truck.
“Growing up in an Italian household, mum never let us stay inside,” says Josh, who is married with a young son. “The only time we came in was when she yelled out ‘food’s ready’. And boy did we come in!”
The former pro-football players learnt to cook by observing their mum and nonnas both at home and in their parents’ restaurant and hope to make them proud with their hearty Italian food.
“It’s an honour to represent our family,” Nic tells.
“We’ll show our guests the passion that we show on the football field,” Josh adds. “Our Instant Restaurant will be the best. Italians do it better!”
Alex & Emily
Qld, Cocktail Couple
Having dedicated their whole lives to food and drink, Gold Coast couple Alex (35) and Emily (27) are planning to raise the bar in MKR.
For drinks consultant Alex, looking after people and being hospitable is in his blood… just don’t call him a mixologist (“That’s a bit of a *w*nky name”).
Bargain hunter Emily is a restaurant supervisor.
“I love talking to people so it suits me to a tea,” she reveals.
The loved-up foodies have been together for three-and-a-half years after meeting while both working at a Sydney rum bar.
“Emily is my little pocket rocket,” Alex gushes. “She’s gorgeous as hell. We have so much love between us.”
The perfectionists believe they have a bit of an upper hand coming into the competition.
“We love entertaining; we love being hospitable towards people and we know what it takes to run a great venue and the pressures that come with that,” Alex says. “MKR is a vessel to take us to our dream. We want to have our venue one day. We want to win!”
“We entertain at home, we entertain at work, we do it every single day,” Emily adds. “This is just on a much bigger scale.”
Roula & Rachael
Vic, Friends with attitude
Best friends Roula (34) and Rachael (21) from Melbourne are ready to serve Australia a fresh hit of hip hop attitude.
We are on re and together you can’t stop us,” says Rachael, who met Roula 18 months ago when they both worked at the same real estate agency.
“We became really good work friends and that carried on outside of the office into our hobbies,” she explains. “I’m a dance instructor and we both love hip hop.”
“Hip hop channels my inner gangster,” says headstrong Roula. “I’m loud and I’m vocal.”
The fiery friends want to bring the party to MKR but make no mistake – their aim is to win.
“We have very high standards,” Rachael confesses.
“Our food is the bomb,” adds Roula.
“I will not put any bad food on the table. My family call me the psycho in the kitchen ‘cause I can’t tolerate anyone in there when I’m doing my thing.”
“We fight,” Rachael admits. “Then three seconds later we’re best friends again.”
“That’s how we roll in life, we just get our groove on,” Roula says. “Australia are going to love us, how could you not!”
Kim & Suong
Vic, Melbourne mums
Friends since high school, Melbourne mums, Kim (38) and Suong (38) plan to show Australia what real Vietnamese food is.
Suong reveals, “We’re both Vietnamese and we’re both refugees. I came here when I was ve on a homemade boat. I’ve never been to a five-star restaurant before. I never say no to food. I eat everything.”
“Our friendship grew because we understand each other very well,” Kim tells. “It’s thanks to our parents that we’re here and having a good life.”
Immensely proud of their culture and their food, these “supermums” have seven children between them.
“When I grew up we didn’t have much to eat so I always want to make sure my four kids are happy and fed,” Suong shares.
“What we didn’t have we are trying to give to our kids now,” mum-of-three Kim explains. “We de nitely appreciate and understand the value of food.”
“Being a mother changed our lives,” Suong admits. “We lost ourselves. Our life is about the kids. So being on MKR is about doing something for us. We’re here because we’re passionate about food.”
“We’re doing this for ourselves and for our families. We want to make them proud,” Kim says. “It’s going to be hectic but we’re mums, we’re used to it.”
Ash & Matty
Qld, Sunny Coast surfies
Laid back Sunshine Coast couple Ash (25) and Matty (26) have been dating for 18 months.
“The first time I met Matty he was at the beach taking a shower,” Ash reveals.
“You were perving on me!” Matty exclaims.
“Yeaahhh,” Ash smiles.
“I first started surfing when I was four,” says Matty, an exercise physiologist who specialises in rehabilitation and training athletes. “I surf because it’s my happy place.”
For registered nurse Ash, who has been cooking since she was six-years-old, her happy place is in the kitchen,
“I absolutely love cooking, especially after a hard shift. It’s my passion.”
The pair share a love for the outdoors but when it comes to food, Ash can cook while boyfriend Matty… can’t.
“I can’t cook. Without Ash I’m stuffed. I’m doing this to learn and to help my girl out,” he explains. “My mates think it’s hilarious that I’m in this competition but I know how much it means to Ash and I’m keen to give it a red-hot crack.”
“I’m going to have to guide him through a lot of things,” Ash admits.
“You’re going to have to be the boss in the kitchen but I’ve got my heart in this and I want to do well,” Matty says.
Stuss & Steve
Qld, Best buddies
Best buddies Stuss (56) and Steve (52) are a pair of self-confessed “knuckleheads” from Brisbane.
“I met Stuss over 20 years ago when he started going out with my sister and we became very good mates,” Steve says.
“It doesn’t matter what life throws at him. He gets back up with a laugh and a bad joke.”
Stuss (rhymes with bus) is a “don’t worry, be happy” kinda guy. He describes brother-in-law Steve as a “fair dinkum Indiana Jones”.
“I’m a State Archaeologist for Queensland and it’s an absolutely amazing job,” Steve explains.
“I’ve got a bit more of a regular job,” says Stuss, who comes from a hospitality and restaurant background. “My wife and I run our own corner store and I love it. I eventually want to turn it into a café and sell traditional Greek food.”
Stuss, who has been cooking since he was 17, is always the number one caterer for any of their family get-togethers. The two dads are also keen campers and love cooking together around a camp fire.
“I’ve always known the basics but I didn’t really get into cooking until I met Stuss,” says Steve. “He’s a great Greek cook and I’m a good off sider.”
Stella & Jazzey
Perth’s “best waitresses” Stella (21) and Jazzey (21) are aiming to serve up a night to remember.
“Some people are going to think we’re young, dumb and not serious about food,” Jazzey says. “But they can think what they want because we’re going to come in and BAM!”
“We’re really serious about this,” Stella confesses. “We’re serious about this competition.”
“I think out of all the teams we’ve got the most to prove,” Jazzey admits. “We’ve got a lot to prove to other people, but also to ourselves.”
The colourful young besties, who met during Grade 8 singing class, describe their food as “simple but nailing it.”
“We love cooking modern Australian,” Jazzey says. “But we also just love experimenting with food, mixing and matching different cuisines.”
“I’m frothing to cook for Manu,” she adds. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Stella, who continues to sing and study music, warns the pair use their own lingo so prepare yourselves for such beauties as “moshy” (emotional), “cocky” (cocktail), “reso” (restaurant), “sweet muff” (sweet muffin), “FAJ” (fresh apple juice) and “’onny” (honest).
Jess & Emma
Wickedly witty Sydney sisters Jess (31) and Emma (30-ish “I don’t see what my age has to do with my cooking”) are promising a lip smacking menu.
“We’re not to be underestimated, we’ve got what it takes,” Jess says. “We’re not here for a holiday. Our food stacks up and we plan on kicking some ass. We want to win MKR.”
“We’re going to win because I want the money!” a candid Emma confesses. “We could win… when we score everyone zero.”
The outspoken siblings place a lot of importance on appearance.
“It’s all about presentation,” says Emma. “Us, the food… we’ll smash it out of the park!”
Adds Jess, “On rst impressions people will think that we’re horrible stuck up bitches, until they get to know us…”
“… and then they’ll still think I’m a horrible stuck up bitch!” Emma laughs.
“Emma is my best friend as well as my sister,” Jess reveals. “We know how each other works well and that’s our biggest advantage.”
According to Emma, “I think both of us will be the boss in the kitchen.”
7:30pm Monday January 29 on Seven.