MKR 2023: meet the cast

MKR 2023: meet the cast

MKR returns to Seven on Monday for its 13th season with Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge as hosts / judges.

Nigella Lawson returns to judge finals week at Kitchen HQ where the qualifying teams will compete for a $100,000 prize.

Seven is yet to indicate if a second group of cooks will feature.

MKR is produced by ITV Studios Australia.

Co-host & Judges: Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge
Judge: Nigella Lawson

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Tommy & Rach
WA
Just Friends

Close friends Tommy and Rach can easily be mistaken for a loved-up couple with the amount of affectionate touches and glances they share, but alas, they are completely platonic. Tommy is a self-confessed creative soul, freelancing in branding and graphic design. Rach works in fashion, styling and modelling. She moved to Melbourne in 2019 for a new pace of life, but still calls East Fremantle in Western Australia her home. They met over two years ago and instantly connected over similar interests and hobbies. These confident and spiritual hipsters often host gatherings with other creative types and have been known to set up dining tables on the nature strip in the middle of the street. Their strength is their communication, but Tommy can push Rach’s buttons.

What is your signature dish and what makes it so special to you?
Tommy: I don’t believe in signature dishes. To me, it’s not what you cook but more so who you’re cooking for, who you’re in company with.
Rach: Lamb French cutlets with herbs from my garden.
What are your fi ve must-have fridge staples?
Tommy: Mushrooms, coconut yoghurt, cheese, bacon, seeded mustard.
Rach: Tuscan kale, blueberries, Greek yoghurt, jalapeno salsa, lamb/beef mince

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Radha & Prabha
NSW
Identical Twins

Inseparable identical twins Radha and Prabha think they have the secret recipe to win the competition: their telepathic powers. They hope their ability to read each other’s minds will help them win the title of MKR champions. Raised by a single mother after their father passed away when they were two years old, cooking has helped Radha and Prabha feel connected to their strong, caring mother while keeping their father’s memories alive. The twins are passionate about helping others. Prabha works in cancer research and Radha is currently training to be a lawyer. Prabha, who was born two minutes before her sister, takes her role as the bossy older twin very seriously. Although they describe themselves as a lot of fun together, they often end up arguing before realising they both mean the same thing.

What would you do with the money if you win?
Both: Open a small café.
Prize money aside, what do you hope to get out of this experience?
Radha: The ability to experience new food adventures.
Prabha: To achieve a culinary experience all over Australia.
Can you remember the first dish you ever prepared?
Radha: Spaghetti bolognese.

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Sonia & Marcus
SA
Mother & Son

Mother and son, Sonia and Marcus, are loud, passionate and sure to entertain in and out of the kitchen. These two love each other deeply but their relationship is tumultuous, and they fight like cats and dogs. High-school teacher Sonia grew up watching her mother cook. She boasts an impressive library of over 1,000 cookbooks. Marcus describes his mother as a powerhouse and lioness who shows her love through food but he’s wary of her “Italian temper”. Marcus is highly energetic, unfiltered, chaotic, and messy. He owns a food photography and videography business. He regularly posts entertaining food content for his thousands of followers on Instagram and TikTok. Sonia gets outraged by the tornado Marcus leaves behind, and in turn, Marcus gets frustrated with Sonia’s perfectionism.

How would you describe yourself as a cook?
Sonia: I am a curious cook who takes every opportunity to learn from people around me.
Marcus: Determined. I practice and I adapt constantly because I’m determined to grow and reach my potential.
What is your signature dish and what makes it so special to you?
Sonia: Orange chiffon cake. It’s a favourite in our house.
Marcus: A steak sandwich. Simple I know, but sometimes the simple stuff done properly is the best.

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Coco & Pearls
NSW
Feisty Friends

These confident alpha-women are coming in hot and they have abplan. They know what they like, what they want and how to get it. New Zealand-born Coco is a pop singer who prides herself on her good looks and personal hygiene. Headstrong and determined, Czech Republic-born Pearls confesses to stalking chefs online before selecting a venue, so she knows what she’s paying for. These ladies are hoping to distract the other teams with beauty and charm before surprising them with their exceptional cooking skills. Coco and Pearls are direct, outspoken and are sure to be critical. They confess to being “a little bitchy” when dining out and are well known in their friendship circle to send food back, complain to waitstaff and write reviews online.

How would you describe yourself as a cook?
Coco: Healthy, creative, calm, fun.
Pearls: Passionate. You never leave hungry when I cook.
I hate following recipes, they confuse you.
What is your signature dish?
Coco: Parmesan crusted lamb cutlet, tastes good.
Pearls: There are a few but I love my BBQ pork ribs with whiskey parsnip puree and homemade gnocchi.
What are your must-have pantry staples?
Coco: Marmite, avocados, eggs, chai, popcorn, pasta.
Pearls: Pomegranate molasses, garlic, onion, flour, salt and pepper.

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Nick & Christian
VIC
Food Maestros

These best mates met 12 years ago while studying drama at university when Nick was nursing a bad breakup and Christian took him under his wing. After they started living together, they realised their shared love for food, dinner parties, sci-fi and working in hospitality. Restaurant supervisor Christian is quite competitive and loveswatching the chefs at work to learn. Nick works as a venue manager for a pub. During lockdown, they began cooking on TikTok, amassing 900k views. The duo work well together in the kitchen and believe they are in sync, but both admit they butt heads as they’re very competitive. Nick and Christian are inspired by Greek and Mediterranean dishes, as well as modern Australian. They also love their meat. How would you describe your personality?

Nick: Workaholic. Introverted extrovert. I treat other people the way I want to be treated.
Christian: Fun and loud.
How did you learn to cook?
Nick: My mother started my cooking journey, teaching me dishes she would make for us. After I started working in
hospitality, I was inspired to learn more.
Christian: Originally from mum, then learnt from asking different chefs about cooking processes.

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Claudean & Anthony
QLD
Married Battlers

A fiery Italian and a super chill Samoan with the hearts of gold and a dream to feed kids in need, Claudean and Anthony were brought together by destiny. Twenty-five years later, they have a blended family and two kids of their own. The husband and wife duo are like chalk and cheese. Claudean is loud, opinionated and tough; Anthony is warm, friendly, patient and calm. Together they run a food market stall where they sell traditional Italian dishes, sauces and desserts. When Anthony’s not helping Claudean with prep, delivery and customer service for their stall, he manages his floor sanding business. Claudean’s life before Anthony was full of trials and tribulations. She uses cooking as a tool to help deal with trauma.

How would you describe your personality?
Claudean: Loud, big, open, truthful, respectful, soft/hard, funny.
Anthony: Outgoing.
Can you remember the first dish you ever prepared?
Claudean: A cheesecake scone I learnt in cooking class in Year 7.
Anthony: Eggs on toast.
What is your signature dish and what makes it so special to you?
Claudean: Spaghetti and meatballs: it’s my childhood on a plate.
Anthony: Italian chicken. It was taught by my Claudean’s dad.

7:30pm Monday – Wednesday on Seven.