Ben & Vasil, VIC
While bartending pals Ben, 27, and Vasil, 28, might be lovable larrikins, they aren’t to be underestimated. Having cooked all their lives, they have a few tricks up their sleeves. “I’ve been in the kitchen from a young age,” says Ben. “I’m mostly self-taught with a few tips from family,” adds Vasil.
Jenni & Louise, QLD
Bubbly Sunshine Coast mums Jenni, 42, and Louise, 39, met in an antenatal class 11 years ago and became firm friends, even starting their own motherhood blog. The pals learnt to cook off their mothers and are hoping to bring some laughter to the competition. “We wanted a fun adventure and to show Australia who we are as cooks, friends, mums and bloggers,”
Sue Ann & Sylvia, VIC
Having first met as children in their homeland of Malaysia, Sue Ann, 56, and Sylvia, 52, reconnected years later in Melbourne. These vivacious pals can’t wait to show off their authentic Malaysian recipes. “MKR gives me the platform to share my passion for Malaysian food and my mother’s dishes,” says Sue Ann.
Kerry & Kaylene, WA/QLD
Sisters Kerry, 34, and Kaylene, 29, may appear to be happy-go-lucky, but don’t be fooled, they have both served in the Australian Army. “We have a good laugh ... but when we need to be serious, we are,” says Kerry. As for their food, “I am sweet and she is savoury so food-wise we work well together”, adds Kaylene.
Mark & Lauren, VIC
Professional poker player Mark, 40, and his sister Lauren, 35, are set to shake up the competition this year. Just like in poker, Mark says his strategy to win is to “read the table, identify threats and if worse comes to worst turn on the charm offensive”. Lauren is also not to be underestimated, despite not having learned to cook until she was 22. “I was a very picky eater up until then,” she says. “I’m self-taught by reading and watching.”
MKR: The Rivals premieres on Sunday Feb 2.
For more, see this week’s New Idea – out now!