Two teams were eliminated from My Kitchen Rules NZ this week. We caught up with them for a quick chat ...

Joelle and Theresa

Herald: What is it that you think you could have done better to stay on the show?

Joelle and Theresa: We felt that everything we served was cooked well and presented beautifully. Our Instant Restaurant had a great feel to it and we loved working to the theme, so we do feel we gave a good dining experience. Had we known it would be so important, we would have had more description on our menu and probably sticking with a more traditional prawn cocktail rather than twisting it could have made a difference. Going first up in a new round with teams that had already been through an Instant Restaurant round, means we were very green to the experience and were up against it!

What are you most proud of during your time on the show?

We finished how we started by staying true to ourselves and our game plan - "with grace and decorum". It was important to us that our children, family and friends would be proud of our time on MKR and that we would be our 'normal' selves to them - good role modelling! (We also think that our hair was exceptional throughout the show... quite a difficult task! And that not too many of our lame puns made the cut.)


Any embarrassing moments we should be made aware of?

Our entry as Gatecrashers wasn't exactly flawless, with Theresa tripping on the camera chord and emitting a pig snort, and Joelle with her nervous lip twitch that looked like a menacing snarl at the other contestants. Thankfully the camera didn't pick up these embarrassing events (or rather they chose not to show them).

What was the best thing you ate while on the show?

Dai and Dal's grilled pork larb, sticky rice and tamarind soup - this was exceptional and was more than just tasty, it was a whole culture experience.

And the worst?

We were very lucky in our round that no one had major fails and all the dishes offered merit. To pick something not very popular was probably the too thick biscotti (accompaniment to the creme brûlée) from the Corporate Dads - most of us left that on the plate (to save our teeth!)

Which judge was the toughest?

In terms of scoring we felt they were both rather tough scoring our group. They were very cryptic at times and came across quite staunch. We tried to break them with our witty repartee and feel we may have had some mild success with Ben, but Gareth appeared impenetrable (secretly on the inside, he was possibly splitting his sides... in which case, he's a great actor)!

What's the best piece of behind-the-scenes gossip you can give us?

Dai can negotiate pretty much anything from anyone and Dal can drink her weight in wine. Maura can't use nail polish properly (actually, at all!). Tracy sometimes doesn't wear pants (ok, really short dresses that look like tops - and she clearly can get away with it!) and Neil loves Karaoke. Josh and Aaron (Jaaron) break the male stereotype by managing to multi-task - they juggled work, daily gym workouts and MKR filming all at once!

Tracey and Neil

What is it that you think you could have done better to stay on the show?

Tracey: I would say perhaps sticking to original cooking time of snapper in our first Instant Restaurant (allowing hazelnuts to crust). And to avoid cooking Thai for the Laos duo Dai & Dal, as it was rudely pushed to the side from Dal in our second Instant Restaurant.

Neil: We think we could have worked on our presentation a bit more and presented more refined dishes and maybe we would have got further. We think the judges clicked onto the fact we were there for fun and not too serious about winning. Our main goal was not to get kicked off first!

What are you most proud of during your time on the show?

Tracey: Receiving a 9 from Ben for Neil's Pork Belly. And an 8 from Ben for my tamarillos.

Neil: We are most proud of our pork belly main that we pulled off! In fact we think it should have scored even higher! A 10 and a 9 would be more fitting.

Any embarrassing moments we should be made aware of?

Tracey: Apparently substituting icing sugar for corn flour. Not embarrassed - more kind of relieved we pulled it off.

Neil: There were a few embarrassing moments but the worst would be the whole Darth Vader comments we made. They were just a joke and it got used quite a lot! Other than that we were really happy with how we came across. Also forgetting the fish was a bit shameful .

What was the best thing you ate while on the show?

Tracey: Dal & Dai's sticky rice combo.

Neil: The best thing we ate was Dan and Sam's dessert....Raspberry Brownie with minted Raspberry sorbet, almonds, honey yoghurt and chocolate ganache.

And the worst?

Tracey: My disappointing first lamb shank.

Neil: Unfortunate as it is, the worst thing we ate was Dan and Christie's ceviche.

Which judge was the toughest?

Tracey: Ben & Gareth were even on their critiquing, perhaps Gareth a tad more.

Neil: Ben was actually the judge that scored us higher on quite a few times but overall we think he is the harder judge.

What's the best piece of behind-the-scenes gossip you can give us?

Tracey: The personalities seem to differ off air from Dal & Dai. Plus the sometimes crazy antics heard from Belinda aka Modern Day Hippies with Neena.

Neil: Behind the scenes gossip is that we all get on fairly well but there are some very sour grapes from some of the teams over scoring and they still are angry! We never cared about what scores we got ...even the low ones but there are some very competitive teams!

Tracy: I might add I thought the winning Instant Restaurant both location & visually goes to Steve & Maura. Such a joy to watch the lovebirds immerse themselves in their quest to score high. On a personal note, the entire experience has brought out a better understanding of food & the huge degree of elements that goes into the science of food. My view of eating out has diminished when we have such a high standard of raw ingredients available to us in NZ so get creative & Nancy Drew it (just try it),

* My Kitchen Rules airs three times a week from 7.30pm on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, TV One.