Plate of Origin: Team Venezuala’s showbiz past

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Team Venezuela’s Kiki and Aly may be first time reality contestants on Plate of Origin, but they’re no stranger to being in front of the camera.

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Kiki, 37, tells New Idea she has previously worked as an actor and extra on numerous major film sets.

“I love acting and one of the things I wanted to be part of was blockbuster movies,” she reveals.

Kiki’s credits include TV shows Harrow and The Bureau of Magical Things and movie Dora the Explorer. But her hands-down favourite was working on movie blockbuster San Andreas alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

“I was so proud to be a part of this movie with Dwayne Johnson and we shared the same set,” recalls Kiki. “It was super exciting, amazing. I loved it!”

And Kiki has an amusing memory of meeting the 1.96m-tall megastar.

“He’s so good looking!” Kiki laughs. “On set, he also had this big body guard, but Dwayne was actually still taller than him.”

Kiki (pictured with fellow extra Sandra Roux) starred on a movie with The Rock. (Credit: Instagram)

Meanwhile, Kiki and Aly have revelled in being in the spotlight on Plate of Origin.

“We want to be more on TV [after the show], that’s for sure,” says Kiki.

“It would be amazing to have a cooking show or a YouTube channel and show people, ‘This is South America.’ It’s not just tacos and burritos,” laughs Aly, 38.

Kiki and Aly are close friends and now cooking partners. (Credit: Instagram)

On screen, the vibrant South American duo share an unmistakable chemistry. But Aly admits that their friendship initially got off to a “rough start” after they met at her workplace.

“She told me to hurry up and I was like, ‘Excuse me, I’m busy, you have to wait!’” recalls Aly. “But once we started talking, I realised she was like me and we ended up being good friends.”

“We want to be more on TV [after the show], that’s for sure.” (Credit: Supplied)

Team Lebanon: ‘We’re feeling the pressure’

A few inaccurate Facebook comments were all it took to spur on Rachida to sign herself and her mother Jamal up for Plate of Origin.

“I saw the Facebook ad calling out for a Lebanese team – and in the comments people were talking about cooking certain dishes that aren’t really what we’d consider Lebanese,” Rachida, 30, tells New Idea.

“So I was like, ‘No, Mum and I have to go on the show and cook the real Lebanese food.’”

Cooking under pressure is nothing new for Jamal, 48, who already runs her own successful Lebanese food catering business, which regularly feeds up to 600 people at a single wedding!

The pressure’s on for Jamal and Rachida. (Credit: Channel Seven)

However, Rachida says that the pair has felt a different kind of stress in taking on the competition show.

“We do feel there is some pressure on us to represent the Lebanese community and our food,” she admits.

However, what the pair is confident about is the authenticity of their family recipes.

“Before Mum came to Australia from Lebanon, her family have always lived in the same small village – and the recipes they cook have been handed down through the generations,” explains Rachida.

“Everything was made from scratch and that’s how my mum cooks – and that’s why her food is so good.”

New Idea
(Credit: New Idea)

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