The tension between the contestants of Group One was palpable on My Kitchen Rules when news broke that one half of everyone’s favourite team of socialites, Ibby Moubadder, was hiding a secret.
Ibby does not, in fact, work as a registered nurse, but actually owns two cafes and a restaurant in Sydney.
Now it seems Ibby and his friend Romel Kouyan have found themselves in hot water again
This time they’ve done something that has never before been seen on the reality TV show. The pair from NSW have organised an interior decorator to set up their Instant Restaurant for them, prompting rival teams to claim that this is cheating as it allows them more time to prepare their food.
“I thought that was against the contract, so I was a bit confused about that, because in the contract [it] said you are not allowed to hire anyone from outside,” Ruby explains to WHO.
“I feel like, in a way, it was a disadvantage for us, because we made a lot of effort planning the rest of it and if I could have hired somebody to do it for me, I could have focused on the cooking,” she continues.
According to the Peruvian, the contestants are given a budget of $1100 to spend on their Instant Restaurant.
“That covers food and everything like knives, forks, cutlery, and plates and glasses and all that.”
Additionally, she confirmed that the cooks are given the opportunity to fork out some of their own money.
Regardless, Ibby and Romel refuse to see their actions as a problem. “When you invite people to your house, you want to give them the best you have, you want to be hospitable,” Ibby tells WHO.
“Especially when you have Pete and Manu at your house. Romel was like, ‘Why don’t we get a stylist?’ ”
Ibby’s hospitality industry connections came to the rescue during the task. “On our menus, we had a graphic designer do it for [us], who I have worked with in my professional life. We paid him lots of money to design it,” he says.
“Well, you’re only going to do it once and so we believe that if you’re going to do something, do it properly, give it your all,” Romel says.
Love them or loathe them, Ibby says he’s not interested in his fellow competitors’ opinions about the styling of their restaurant.
“People just want to whinge,” he says. “We didn’t break any rules. We asked people to help and they said yes, but – and there’s a big but – we were given the same amount of time as everyone to cook. We were not allowed in the kitchen during that time. We just wanted it to look amazing.”