Australia’s favorite cooking show, MKR is back for 2022 – and this year’s teams have been revealed.
The show is back to its original winning recipe, with judges Manu Feildel and Nigella Lawson in a brand new season premiering at 7pm on Sunday August 7 on Channel 7 and 7plus.
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Manu and Nigella will be searching for Australia’s best home cooks, with real people cooking real food in their own homes, serving treasured family recipes to the judges and their fellow contestants.
Joining Manu and Nigella will be TV personality Matt Preston and celebrity chefs and MKR guest judges Colin Fassnidge and Curtis Stone.
Meet the 2022 MKR teams
Peter and Alice, VIC – Dad and daughter
After five years of working in the family cafe, Alice, 31, wants to spread her wings, while dad Peter, 56, wants to open a high tea room, combining his love of baking and entertaining.
“Dad and I have a very tumultuous but hilarious relationship,” Alice explains.
“We are very similar in our approach to everything, which is why we often butt heads.
“We are both very dramatic, so things often blow up into epic situations.”
Peter agrees: “With us, it’s always been on or off, hot or cold – rarely any middle ground.”
Kate and Mary, QLD – Fine diners
Radiation therapists and close friends Kate and Mary love hosting dinner parties and long lunches, bringing people together through food.
They love cooking with premium high-end ingredients and like serving up simple, fuss-free food served on share plates.
The pair say they don’t believe in wasting time on bad food – and they are not shy in criticizing the cooking of others.
“I’m gagging for some high-intensity cooking and the chance to criticize some of my fellow contestants’ dishes,” Kate admits.
While Kate is a self-taught cook, Mary learned most of her cooking skills from her mum.
“Food was a big part of our family life, from meals at a table together to entertaining friends and extended family,” she says.
“My mother was always at the center of all of it.”
Ashlee and Mat, WA – Foodie parents
Margaret River husband and wife team Ashlee, 36, and Mat, 39, have eclectic tastes in food, ranging over Dutch, Asian, Italian and more.
Ashlee is the cooking speedster, while Mat takes a bit more time in the kitchen.
“My kids are such foodies; I feel like they’re judging me every night, so the professionals might as well judge me,” Ashlee jokes.
Describing their team vibe, Ashlee says they’re a perfect combination of “loud and quiet, bossy and chill, fast and slow, so we balance each other out.”
Mat has a slightly different take.
“My wife is the leader. That’s it!” he says.
Janelle and Monzir, NSW – Dating couple
Sassy Baker Janelle, 27, and partner Monzir, 26, say they have what it takes to take out the MKR title.
With their blended Turkish/Cypriot and Sudanese heritage, this loved-up couple say winning the competition would be icing on the cake of their romance.
Monzir lives for BBQ, full-flavoured spice rubs and cooking over coals with his two favorite ingredients: chilli and peanut butter.
“BBQ skewers with Sudanese spices are special to me because my dad taught me this dish,” Monzir says.
“It’s a secret family recipe that we enjoy eating as a family.”
Dubbed “the Kardashian of cakes”, Janelle runs a successful cake-decorating business and has a keen eye for detail.
“My favorite thing about cakes is that you start at nothing and end up with something beautiful, special and sweet,” she says.
Arrnott and Fuzz, NSW – Fashionista friends
Besties and co-workers Arrnott, 44, and Fuzz, 34, call themselves the “fabulous Fijians.”
Drawn together by their love of cooking, food and creativity, the pair also love fashion.
Growing up surrounded by family who love to eat, both Arrnott and Fuzz learned to cook from much-loved family members and are keen to showcase their Fijian heritage.
“I don’t think many people know much about Fijian food, so we’d love to introduce them to it,” Arrnott says.
“We love cooking seafood because it’s in our DNA.”
“Arrnott and I are loud, colourful, proud human beings who are both rooted in our culture and very proud of our heritage,” Fuzz adds.
“Food is at the center whenever we gather, whether to celebrate or commiserate. It’s how we express love.”
Steven and Frena, SA – Engaged couple
Lovebirds Steven, 31, and Frena, 25, grew up between Singapore and Malaysia.
Frena loves Chinese, Indonesian and Javanese flavors and has been finding her way around a kitchen since she was five years old.
Steven was born in Australia to British parents and remembers his gran’s fantastic roast dinners when he was growing up.
Together, they make their curry pastes, pastes and condiments from scratch.
Frena says she has found her “person” in Steven, who makes her feel she can achieve anything.
“As a teenager watching MKR in Malaysia, I never thought my skills would match up, but having a supportive partner means a lot,” she says.
And in very British fashion, Steven says his best food memories are “having afternoon tea” with Gran and Pa after school and learning, with them, how to make scones from scratch.
Che and David, WA – Chilli Mates
WA mates Che, 43, and David, 35, love chilli.
Che owns an award-winning hot sauce company and David is revered in the competitive chilli-eating world.
They met on the “chilli scene” – and quickly bonded.
Che is a coeliac with two coeliac kids, so learning how to cook was imperative.
“I love to make all meals gluten-free to show people you can make gluten-free food taste good,” he says.
As for David, he simply loves to wind down after work by cooking.
“Getting to cook for my family is a bonus,” he adds.
Rosie and Hayley, QLD – Aunt and niece
Rosie, 53, and Hayley, 29, have become closer as they have gotten older.
Rosie is a breast cancer survivor and has a “life’s too short” mantra that makes her want to make the most of every day.
The pair love cooking casual Italian for friends and family, with both citing pasta dishes as their favorite to cook.
“I love a good plate of pasta with a beautiful homemade, simple, fresh tomato sauce with garlic and basil and lots of grated fresh parmesan cheese on top,” Rosie says.
For Hayley, it’s a simple bolognese.
“It’s a crowd favorite – my friends beg me to cook it,” she says.
“It’s my grandma’s recipe and makes me proud to be able to cook something from my culture and do it justice.”
Matt and KT, VIC – Best friends
Matt, 36, and KT, 33, met at a friend’s 18th birthday party and have been friends ever since.
Matt grew up as a proud Yamaji man from the Gascoyne region in WA with a nose-to-tail food philosophy.
Both he and KT are passionate about using Australian native ingredients and transporting their guests to the Australian outback during their MKR “instant restaurant”.
Matt says his go-to meal for guests would be kangaroo loin with pepper berry jus, parsnip and saltbush puree, with Brussels sprouts and heirloom carrot crisps.
KT chooses crispy skin salmon with brown tarragon butter, pumpkin puree and fennel salad.
“The first dish I made was with my grandmother, Alice,” Matt says.
“She taught me how to make a trifle; it was the best I’ve ever eaten in my life.”
For KT, the first dish was spaghetti bolognaise.
“She always made the best spaghetti and I was determined to make it just as good,” KT says.
“Nothing fancy but it’s definitely evolved over the years.”
Leanne and Milena, VIC – Italian sisters
Italian sisters Leanne, 50, and Milena, 52, are also best friends.
The fiery pair learned to cook from their mum, who was constantly in the kitchen cooking for her eight children.
The pair love “easy Italian” cooking and make their own salami, pancetta, olives and pasta.
“As a child, I learned to make delicious Italian cuisine and make salamis, sauce, olives and bread,” Leanne explains.
“I was always visiting the kitchens of restaurants to watch the chefs.”
For Milena, it doesn’t get much better than a pasta dish with broccoli.
“My family loves it, and it reminds me of being at home with my mom,” she says.
Nicky and Jose, SA – Spanish foodies
Fitness fanatics Nicky, 46, and Jose, 51, live life to the max.
They met on the dancefloor six years ago and have been together since.
Jose is Spanish and grew up around Spanish food; his parents own a restaurant and both his grandparents trained and worked as chefs.
Nicky, who is of Polish and German heritage, has been working in hospitality since the age of 15 – and she still works there.
“MKR is a bucket list item for Nicky and me,” Jose says.
Nicky adds: “I’m the alpha, he has a very calm and easy-going attitude. I’m very loud and I find it hard to sit still. As they say, opposites attract!”
Sophie and Katherine, NSW – Posh friends
Business partners and friends Katherine, 55, and Sophie, 53, met 18 years ago on a camping trip and love to cook and laugh together over a glass of wine or two.
The outspoken mums own The Dinner Ladies, a successful food service delivering ready-to-eat meals.
Katherine is completely self-taught, while Sophie says her mum had a hand in her love for cooking.
“We grew many of our vegetables and ate widely and adventurously every day,” she says.
“She never explicitly taught us, but you pick up a lot hanging around the kitchen.”
MKR premieres at 7pm on Sunday, August 7 on Channel Seven and 7plus.