Do you think your friendship has evolved or changed as a result of your MKR experience?
R: Oh, yeah. I think friendship has grown from strength to strength.
T: I would second that. I think it's no normal exercise to endure in a friendship, embarking on something like this. We have definitely been put in situations together that other friendship duos would never experience in their life. We've been beyond tired and we've been frustrated and we've been stressed and we've been pulled from pillar to post and to go through that and come out on the other side as better friends than we were before, it's actually such a testament to Rach and myself.
R: And Tom and I credit that to how well we communicate together. And we did that in the competition, it's how we succeeded at our home cooking, and we just always have each other's back. We always knew how to give each other space or give each other whatever we needed to just support each other.
Can you share some of the most memorable moments or interactions you had with the other contestants or judges?
R: My favourite moment so far has been when Manu said that our duck main course was 'MKR on a plate' and an 'MKR staple.'
T: That's right. It was an 'MKR signature.'
R: I don't recall that being said towards any other dish in that whole entire competition. I'm pretty proud of that.
How do you guys handle the pressure of competing on a nationally televised cooking competition? Are there any strategies you used to stay focused or motivated?
R: Yeah, I think being mindful and taking care of ourselves, our health and our well-being is crucial to being able to best perform and stay grounded. So during our downtime, we really looked after ourselves. We went for walks, we ate really healthy food, we checked in with our families. You know, I'm doing my meditations, we're going to yoga, we even went for massages one time - we really took care of ourselves because when you're on in the competition, it's really high intensity. It's really important to just do all those wonderful things for yourself that really bring you back to charge up the batteries because then you can be the best version of yourself.
T: And really when you were competing, it did take everything that you had. It was one of the most demanding experiences to show up in the kitchen and give it your all and you had to make sure that you have as much as possible. Lots of hugs and extra large coffees!
R: It's very special and when you go through hard times, you can look back on those challenges and say with confidence, 'I'm so proud of how Tom and I handled difficult challenging times,' how we looked after each other how we looked after ourselves. It's something I feel really proud of and I guess that's the silver lining to the challenging times, especially after getting eliminated, to be like holy moly, I'm so proud of how far we've come. Yes, it's devastating and disappointing, but at the same time how could you not be grateful for everything that led you to that point? And we're excited for the other teams, someone had to get eliminated, it sucks that it was us, but we're looking forward to the very strong competition.
Do you guys have any exciting plans or projects in the works now that your journey on MKR has come to an end?
T: I don't know if we actually know! But the beautiful thing about Rach and I is that we are open to any opportunity that will come our way.
R: Yeah, we're just doing our thing. What are we doing? Margaritas on the beach?! Tom and I are just planning more dinners. Summer is around the corner so cooking with our friends and spending time with our family, big Christmas cook-ups. Like, it's really just back to the things that we love to do and have never stopped doing. We went on the show as an adventure and to share our love for cooking and see where it would take us, so there was no other intention than to just enjoy the adventure - which we did. And I'm so grateful to have come out the other side. Tom and I are even more motivated to cook together and share food together and as soon as we got home after we had been eliminated we got back in the kitchen cooking the next day. You'd think we'd be tired, but we really weren't. We were just inspired and I think that is a really beautiful gift and certainly for me has solidified how much I love to cook, to share my food with my family and friends and to do that with Tom each summer. I think there's gonna be a lot of dinner parties at our house in Melbourne and you might see on our Instagram, the other teams getting invited for those as well.