Masterchef winners Karena and Kasey Bird will be cooking for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they visit Rotorua this week.

When Harry and Meghan stop at Ohinemutu for lunch on Wednesday they will sit down to a selection of local products and traditional flavours - and the Maketu sisters will be the ones in the kitchen.

The sisters said they couldn't be more excited.

When the invitation came in, they instantly thought about the food they loved to eat at home.

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"The request was for traditional food and food from the local area and that's what we love cooking," Kasey said.

"So we are revitalising some of the old cooking techniques and giving our own twist to the foods we grow up on and the foods you find at the marae."

They will also be using traditional cooking methods and steam boxes.

Karena said their grandparents were quite known for entertaining evenings and hosting events in Ohinemutu.

"It's sort of in our blood so it feels good to be hosting this."

There will be about 180 guests at the lunch which will include Ngāti Whakaue elders and they only have 35 minutes to eat.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
20 Oct, 2018 10:00am
3 minutes to read
The Bird sisters, Kasey, left, and Karena will be adding traditional Māori flavour into the lunch they cook for the royal visit. Photo / Stephen Parker
The Bird sisters, Kasey, left, and Karena will be adding traditional Māori flavour into the lunch they cook for the royal visit. Photo / Stephen Parker

"A lot of thought has gone into that as well because, of course, the elders know what typical marae food is like, they actually have something to compare it to."

Kasey said they wanted the lunch to have the same feel as any marae function, just with nicer plating.

"It's so impressive the catering they do on the marae and the quality they do it too."

Karena said a lot of their helpers in the kitchen would be family.

"It's exciting for us and for everyone involved," Kasey said.

"It's certainly an opportunity you never think you'll get and one we'll certainly look back on and just think 'wow'."

She said they were just really grateful for the opportunity and pleased they had been thought of as the ones to do it.

"It's nice to be trusted, we used to be cooking in the marae kitchen and people would be all don't touch that, what did you put in there, leave it alone," she joked.

"Now we get the chance to cook, they're asking for our advice, following our instructions."

Karena said to them it didn't matter where people came from or who they were, they always wanted to put on the best food they could.

"These are the flavours of our childhood, so there is a feeling of pride and privilege in being able to serve them that."