Rotorua's My Kitchen Rules (MKR) contestants Tash Whitewood and Hera Waitai are winging their way home after their elimination last night.
The best friends are disappointed to have not gone further in the show but say the opportunities that have been created will allow them to pursue their foodie dreams.
The girls were on the chopping block after losing by just two points to Wanaka duo Chris and Bex in the first sudden death cook-off. Both teams cooked a three-course meal and both meals were described as exceptional by judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.
VIP judges from the cast of Shortland Street had Whitewood and Waitai four points ahead but Evans and Feildel gave the win to the Wanaka team with higher scores.
Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post from Auckland, the pair said they had their heads high.
"We've gone out on a high," Waitai said.
"We were proud of the food we plated. The decision came down to personal preference as opposed to good food versus bad food."
Feildel said losing the pair was tough, really tough.
"For me, New Zealand is the Maori culture and you taught us that straight away. You cook with aroha and [it was] the same tonight."
But everything happens for a reason according to Whitewood.
"We're viewing our elimination as the beginning, not as the end. MKR has given us, and will continue to give us, many opportunities to pursue."
They have a number of projects, collaboratively and individually, in the pipeline.
"I love food, I love to travel and I love to write. Later this year I will be writing a travel blog as I journey through the South Island and Rarotonga," Whitewood said.
For Waitai, the first thing is her wedding.
"I'm getting married at Lake Tarawera very soon, so that's my priority. I also want to teach young children how to cook and have some classes due to start in the Waikato."
She said she hoped to bring the lessons to Rotorua.
"I'd also love to eat my way around the world so I'm just working out how to go about that," she laughed.
If you see the women when they get back to Rotorua, they'd love you to say hi.
"We've both got a great social media presence and we've had awesome support from home during our MKR journey. Thank you to everyone who has wished us well," Whitewood said.
"Please stop and have a chat or check us out online to see what we do next."