Valerie Ferdinands, who with her daughter Courtney have excelled in My Kitchen Rules with her father's recipes, wasn't sure how they would fare in the April 26 semi-final against the contemporary offerings of Tim Attiwill and Kyle Mclean.
"To be honest, we were extremely nervous," Valerie tells WHO, "because those two, like, we were tipping them and Amy and Tyson. We thought we'd be up there, but I thought they were very strong contenders and we were pretty nervous going into that cook for sure."
In the end, only four points separated the Brisbane mother and daughter team from Adelaide mates Tim and Kyle, who still scored 46 points out of 60 with their menu of scallops with celeriac purée and pancetta, confit duck with coffee pumpkin, and brownie with chocolate stout mousse and coffee syrup. Kyle said, "To come this close and not go to the big dance is disappointing."
Judge Pete Evans told the boys, "I tell you what. You have put out some of the most memorable dishes in the competition. I think you will inspire a hell of a lot of blokes out there to get out there, pick up the tongs and give it a whirl."
While that may be true, Tim concedes to WHO that coming up short of the grand final was tough, especially when recalling how he and Kyle could have managed their entree time better or altered certain dishes ever so slightly.
"At the time when we finished that cook, both Kyle and I were happy," Tim says. "It's not until the judges point out the things you thought were OK that it's a hindsight thing. You know, like the pretzels at the time? We thought, 'Surely, it's finishing touch, it's a garnish, they're not going to make it an issue,' but they made it an issue. So then you're like, 'God, I wish I put the nuts on.' It's small things that will haunt us forever."
Missing them in the grand final will be Brisbane siblings Amy and Tyson Murr. "We've got the best kind of rivalry between Tim and Kyle," Amy says. "We're very close mates, but we like to one up each other as much as possible."
Even so, "Tim and Kyle wrote Tyson and I a card thanking us for the support throughout the competition and being good mates," Amy says, "and listed some of the things we had kind of helped them with in terms of cooking."
Now, Tim, Kyle, and partner Kain Slotegraaf, currently working at the Noma pop-up restaurant in Tulum, Mexico, will launch their dream enterprise — an Adelaide-based catering business with a food truck hitting the road by the end of the year.
"It's going to dude food," Tim says, "delicious, loaded fries and onion rings and wings and burgers. Then, we will take our flair and start catering stuff as well, a secondary menu where people can choose a little bit fancier food. So Tim and Kyle, and Kain, will come cook for your wedding, basically!"
Excited for the future, Tim adds, "This show has reignited the passion in food for both of us and made me in particular realise that food is something we want to be doing."
The 'My Kitchen Rules' grand final will air Sunday, April 30 at 8 PM on Seven.