The reigning queens of reality cooking show My Kitchen Rules are taking their unique brand of cuisine and whipping up a new recipe for this year.
After wowing the judges with restaurant-quality meals made using ingredients found growing wild at the side of the road, Cambridge-based Neena Truscott and Belinda MacDonald are using their winnings to turn their foodie passion into a business.
The pair will launch their website The Green Kitchen tomorrow. It will contain recipes, workshops and cooking demonstrations featuring a menu that is sugar and gluten-free and filled with foraged food.
The pair will also offer a boutique catering service for events and in-home dinner parties.
Truscott said their long-held dream had been fast-tracked by winning the reality television show. "That was the pivotal point of our whole journey," she said. "We might not have been in business together for another five years had we not won MKR."
The pair wanted to educate people to consider the food eaten by our ancestors and live a more conscious, sustainable lifestyle.
"It's an old way of looking at food," she said. "Just in the backyard alone, everyone would have dandelion and plantain. Both have great healing properties.
"And hawthorn hedgerows are everywhere but people don't know it and it's going to waste."
It was important to bridge the gap and remember how things used to be, Truscott said.
The pair realised their type of sugar-free, gluten-free, foraged food was not everyone's idea of a great meal, but there is growing awareness of the harm done to people's health by artificial preservatives and sugar.
Unlike the winners of MasterChef NZ, the pair did not secure a book deal when they won the competition. Truscott said they were keen to write one but were struggling to get backing from a publisher.
They had an ally in resident Australian MKR judge Pete Evans - a proponent of the paleo diet - who had recently published a recipe book despite meeting similar resistance.
"He told us to stay true to what we believe and it will happen."