An idyllic waterfront meal cooked by celebrity chef Ben Bayly proved the perfect tonic for cancer-sufferer Wendy Thompson.
Wendy and husband Lance were the deserving winners of a Herald on Sunday competition to be fed by the My Kitchen Rules New Zealand judge in the prototype Samsung Home Smart Home at Auckland's Wynyard Quarter.
"We read the paper and thought, 'Gee, what a buzz that would be', because we've been watching My Kitchen Rules, so we just entered it," she said.
"We've never won anything before but next minute the phone rang and they said Lance had won it.
"There were a few screams."
Wendy was diagnosed with aggressive bowel cancer about five months ago and has been undergoing invasive chemotherapy since.
"I'm having full-on chemo at the moment so this just cheered everyone up. And I was able to invite all my wonderful friends who have been so good to me and stood by me through all of this, and they were excited-as, too."
The Waiuku couple also booked a hotel in the central city to top off a perfect night out.
Bayly prepared a three-course meal in the ultra-modern kitchen overlooking Auckland's waterfront on a perfect spring evening.
First course was raw kingfish and soft-shell crab in coconut milk, followed by ash-baked lamb and a chocolate souffle for dessert.
Bayly said he was honoured to cook for them.
"Can you find a more deserving couple?
"It's been a real struggle for them over the last little while so it's such a treat for them to come out.
"And they're so excited to be here," he said.
"It's an honour to have them actually. It's one of those reality checks where all the problems you have in everyday life get put into perspective."
The Samsung Home Smart Home, which was put on display at Wynyard Quarter earlier this month, offers the quickest renovation job around.
Modular components mean the walls, floor and fittings can be rearranged to create a variety of spaces in a matter of hours. The house is on display until Tuesday.