Since moving to Byron Bay, NSW, with his fiancée, meteorologist and former TV presenter Magdalena Roze, chef Darren Robertson has found his bliss. “Life runs at a different tempo here,” he tells WHO. “It’s nice. There are huge benefits to someone like me, who’s a bit of a workaholic.”
But old habits die hard. And despite the fact most of his days start with cuddles (for 14-month-old son Archie) and end with a surf in the nearby ocean, Robertson still has a hard time sitting still. So when he was approached to join longtime friend and fellow chef Colin Fassnidge as a judge on My Kitchen Rules, Robertson jumped at the chance.
“You hear all the time that nobody regrets not working enough,” he says with a laugh, “but this was quite manageable for me. It was only a few weeks, I’d done TV before. I knew what to expect.”
Still, Darren’s entrée into the world of Australia’s highest-rated show was “shrouded in secrecy. I’d have to fly to locations before the rest of the crew. Colin and I couldn’t travel together. I found it all a bit hilarious—it was crazy! Colin really looked after me, because he knew it was a daunting thing being out on the road, working with strangers. That made things more pleasurable.”
Now he’s back in Byron, Darren is happily settled back into life as a father and, soon enough, a husband. “Were getting married this year,” reveals Magdalena, who has been engaged to Darren since January 2015. “We got engaged and then I fell pregnant three months later. Now we’re out of the fog we can actually plan our wedding: the food, the wine, the look of it all. I’ve got a working list at the moment. It’s more than 200 and most of it is kids.”
She adds with a laugh, “Oh, God. How do we do this?!”
For more of WHO’s exclusive photo shoot and interview with Darren and Magdalena near their home in Byron Bay, pick up the current issue of WHO on sale now.