How has life changed since you were crowed winners on My Kitchen Rules in 2010?
Fate has definitely stepped in since we won the inaugural MKR series - wow its hard to believe its almost 3 years ago! Things changed so much - we left our old careers behind to pursue our long-held dreams of opening up our own place. We have been blessed with opening up our cafe/restaurant Ave' Cucina & Coffee Bar and most importantly the birth of our miracle baby girl Antonia. I don't think we could have imagined life to be so full and rich in love.
Has there been a highlight of everything that has happened, since your big win?
Professionally opening up our own place and meeting so many wonderful people along the way. Personally, having our beautiful daughter and working with charities.
You had so many great moments on the show but which one/s stood out to you the most?
We still get goosebumps when we think about Pete and Manu announcing their final scores on the grand final night. When you put your heart and soul into something and it gets commended by some of the most amazing chefs around, it is pretty unforgettable!
Do you have any funny behind-the-scenes stories?
Some very fun moments that eased the tension; usually involving a lot of singing and dancing with our fellow contestants.
Who do you still keep in touch with from your series?
It is so difficult living across different states and with our lifestyle it is hard to catch up with our own family but we keep in touch over Facebook and phone with pretty much everyone in our group like Deb from Sydney, Matt and Melissa from Adelaide, Rowan and Sophia from Melbourne. And it is always lovely bumping into our fellow Queensland team Gen and Tan around the markets and for coffee pit stops! We also had a visit from Paul from Adelaide recently at our cafe.
How has it been for you juggling your personal life and career since the series?
Anyone in the hospitality industry can appreciate the long hours and commitment needed to succeed and it has been challenging at times, especially with family. Sometimes you have to miss out on special events but we are blessed to have family members who are understanding and ready to help or babysit when we need to run around. Also it can be a bit difficult to juggle being a stay at home mum with a business that still needs you. It is really fun to be with a little person who you can play with all day though! Despite the crazy schedule, we are stronger than ever as a couple and our relationship is our priority at all times!
Who would you most like to cook for and why?
It would be a fantastic opportunity to work with and learn from Jamie Oliver and his mentor Gennaro Contaldo. Their passionate, rustic and no-fuss approach to creating exquisite Mediterranean food is so inspiring to us.
Tell us what you’re working on next..
So many ideas, so little time! We are still researching our food tours overseas (plans were put on hold by mummy and daddy duties!), cooking classes and launching some packaged food items we make at the restaurant. We also have some ideas brewing about a family cookbook.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
We hope to still be going strong in our restaurant and constantly evolving it. We also hope to continue growing our family.
What advice could you give fans of the show who may be considering giving it a shot in the future?It depends on your motivation - is cooking and creating meals something you dream about all the time and love? Are you prepared to do this under challenging conditions in front of the nation? If yes, then absolutely go for it! We truly believe that fate will always step in if its meant to be, so give it a go and cook from the heart.