My Kitchen Rules has already unearthed some impressive teams, but judge and host Pete Evans thinks the cooking talent this year could be the best he's seen yet.
"This show is all about the chemistry of the teams and I have to say that this series has the best mix of contestants ever - amazing cooking skills and personalities to match," he says excitedly.
"I love good, honest, humble food cooked with love. And if there is a wow factor to a dish then that is an added bonus and can be what separates a good meal from a great meal."
Pete has been excited by the innovative dishes coming across the table this year. "I love the fact that some health foods have popped up, including kale. I just love the flavour of it and you can do so much with it."Pete is a man of many talents – in addition to co-hosting My Kitchen Rules since 2009, he is a respected chef, businessman, author and dad.
Born in Melbourne and raised on the Gold Coast, Pete's passion for cooking was discovered early on.
"My cooking life really kicked off when I started working in my mate's pie shop at the ripe old age of 13. I carved my way through the pie shop, McDonald's and Sizzler before wondering where my real passions lay. At the age of 17, I turfed the Uni idea, became an apprentice chef and cooked all night and surfed all day."
After opening his first restaurant, The Pantry, in Melbourne's bay side suburb of Brighton in 1993, Pete moved to Sydney in 1996 to help launch the Hugos restaurant group. Pete's restaurants have gone on to win numerous awards, including the coveted Sydney Morning Herald Chef's Hat seven years in a row.
The keen fisherman and seafood devotee has a raft of cooking shows under his belt both locally and internationally and even boasts cooking for royalty having prepared dinner for Princess Mary and members of the Danish Royalty. He has also cooked for celebrities including Elton John, Martha Stewart and U2.
In recent years, Pete's love of fresh, healthy and organic food along with his passion for nutrition and wellness have influenced his recipes and cooking style. Looking to build on what he has learned in the kitchen over the years, Pete is currently studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Pete appears annually at some of Australia's most acclaimed food events such as Tasting Australia, The Good Food Show and The Great Barrier Feast. He travelled to New York and Los Angeles for the G'day USA promotion in 2009 and 2010 where he appeared on the The Martha Stewart Show and CBS Early Show.
An accomplished author, Pete released his sixth cookbook Pizza in 2012 and will release a seventh cookbook in 2013. His other titles include: Fish, My Table, My Grill, My Party and My Cooking. He is also a regular contributor to Home Beautiful magazine.
Pete and his team have many exciting projects coming up including Little Hunter, a unique modern grill house in Melbourne.Follow Pete on Twitter @PeteEvansChef and Facebook