Group 1 - Teacher and Truckie
Angela and Justine may be complete opposites but they're a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen.
“Our commonality is food,” Angela says. “We're chalk and cheese really but in the kitchen we're a team.”
The Western Australian pair have been mates for nearly 28 years and it's their trump card in the competition. “Our experience is our biggest strength,” Angela says. “We've been cooking together for 27 years. A lot of these people aren't even 27 yet. It's like anything. The more you practice something, the better you get at it.”
They met as waitresses at the Sheraton Hotel in Perth whilst studying hospitality at different colleges. “We're different but we complement each other really well,” Justine says: “I swear like a trooper and Ang is always minding her Ps and Qs. She's proper for both of us. Since we met, our lives have taken totally different paths but we've always had food in common.”
Learn more about the paths their lives took in this in-depth That's Life! interview.
While Angela, 44, remained in the industry – she's a hospitality lecturer now - Justine, 42, took a completely different career path. Twenty two years ago she began working in the mines and today she drives a 200 tonne dump truck hauling iron ore.
“It's a dirty job,” she says. “I come home covered with dirt.”
Applying for My Kitchen Rules is her chance to “get out of the dump truck.” “I've been doing it for 22 years and I need a change,” she says. “I'd love to run my own takeaway business. This show might just give me the push I need.”
Much like their personalities, their cooking styles and strengths are completely different. While Angela prefers cooking modern Australian, Justine is more at home with Mediterranean food thanks to her Italian mother.
Angela loves Jamie Oliver and her spaghetti and meatballs are her signature dish. Meanwhile Angela is the Caesar salad queen who lists Maggie Beer as her idol. “We each have weaknesses but we're able to pick up each other's slack,”, says Angela. “I'm not particularly good at making pastry or pasta but Justine is good at it.”
Justine adds: “I hate making desserts but Angela is really good at it. And I cook a lot of Italian and she doesn't.”
While Angela learnt to cook at school, Justine's biggest influence was her Italian grandfather Pepo, who worked as a chef. “I remember him standing me on a stool when I was seven and getting me to put the blanched tomatoes in this huge pot of sauce he was making. He always took me to the markets early on the weekends and then we would cook all day.”
Angela’s biggest fan is her Swiss husband Beat. “I cook for my man and he loves it,” she says. “I love to make people happy with food.”
Newly-single Justine adds: “A way to a man’s heart is through his guts.”
Losing isn't on the cards for the competitive duo. “The other teams better watch out because we're in this to win it,” Angela says.