Hayden Quinn and Dan Churchill grew up surfing the waves of Sydney’s northern beaches, move in the same circle of friends and are just three years apart in age, but it still took a shared MasterChef journey—Quinn appeared on the reality cooking show in 2011, Churchill in 2013—for them to become friends.
Now the dynamic duo has taken over the reins of the Surfing the Menu franchise and when they caught up with WHO, they shared their advice on love and dating.
Who is the most likely to get the other into trouble?
Dan: It depends on the day.
Hayden: I would say Dan. Dan is more likely to go in there and tackle a sheep without thinking of it! I sometimes stop and think a little bit, but with Dan, there is no thinking—he just goes.
Who is the first to get on the dance floor?
Hayden: We are fighting each other! I love dancing.
To what song?
Hayden: I love Justin Timberlake’s “Senorita”. It reminds me of high school. They need to play that song more.
Who is the better surfer?
Dan: H [Hayden]. Definitely. H was born in the water and I was a late bloomer. And he was a lifeguard for so long.
Who is the most clumsy?
D: Probably me! How many times did I trip over when we were filming?
H: Because Dan is in his own little world sometimes. Or he will be on the phone and just walk in front of a bike.
Who is the most romantic?
Hayden: When you don’t have a girlfriend it’s hard to be romantic.
Dan: H is definitely the most romantic one. He has a girlfriend. I’m genuinely romantic when I have a girlfriend, though. I go all out on dates. The most genuine thing you can do is cook a girl a meal.
Hayden: For me, the best first date meal is some form of seafood and a salad. And pair it with some nice white wine.
Would you rule out dating someone because they weren’t into food?
Dan: No, we would never do that. I see it more of a challenge.
Catch Dan and Hayden on Surfing the Menu (Sundays, 6 PM on ABC).
Dan shared his perfect date night recipe with WHO:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 prawns, peeled and deveined, heads kept aside
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
500g sweet potato peeled and coarsely grated
1⁄2 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat
and cook the prawn heads for 3–5 minutes or until they are red
and the oil is aromatic. Use a slotted spoon to remove the heads and discard. Add the garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes or until golden brown.
2 Sprinkle in the chilli flakes, allowing it to add heat to the oil for
a minute before adding the prawns. Slide them around to coat in
the oil, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until they change colour.
3 Add the sweet potato and cook, tossing, for about 3 minutes to soften. Toss in half the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with the lemon juice, then divide between serving bowls. Top with remaining parsley and … dig in!
Recipe via Surfing the Menu: Next Generation (Simon & Schuster, $49.99)