There’s a lot to celebrate for Melbourne-based mum Suong!
Not only did the 38-year-old make it to the MKR grand final alongside her teammate and friend Kim, also 38, but she and Matt, her partner of 20 years, are finally planning to tie the knot.
‘We got engaged in Singapore and didn’t have the money for a marriage,’ Suong tells New Idea.
Parents to four children, James, 13, Christian, seven, Reece, five, and Elise, two, Suong and Matt always put their family first.
‘Since we have had kids, life has kind of just gone on and we never ended up getting married.’
According to the Vietnamese cook, the couple are saving up for a ring and a simple wedding
‘He came to me saying he wants to save up for a ring and have a ceremony to make this proper, so we are saving up for a ring,’ she explains.
‘I would be happy with the lollipop ring!’
As for their wedding day, Suong, an accountant, already knows exactly what she wants... and what’s going on the menu!
‘Being Vietnamese, me and my parents know how to put together a phenomenal ceremony,’ she says.
‘We don’t have much money, but I’m very simple so I’m happy to go out to the park to get married, or in the backyard. Somewhere private ’cause I don’t need anything fancy. I would be happy to cook on my wedding ’cause I love feeding people!’
Suong and Matt met when the feisty home cook was just 18.
‘We met in the city on New Year’s,’ Suong recalls. ‘I was waiting for friends and he saw me with a group of friends and he knew I was The One, but I didn’t remember him at the time!
‘But the next time, I don’t know where he got my number from, but he called me and we really connected.’
Arriving in Australia as a refugee at just five, Suong had made a perilous boat journey from Vietnam to Kuala Lumpur, before finally making it to the country she now calls home.
Growing up in a strict household, Suong was often called away from school to help family members communicate outside the Vietnamese community.
‘I’ve gone through a lot with my life,’ she reveals.
‘But when I was at school I was so happy. My father is a farmer and he wouldn’t let me run or skip, and I had to wear certain clothes and have my hair long. So when I was at school I got to explore so many things, which for me was a real adventure.’
For the full story, and more My Kitchen Rules exclusives, see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!