• MKR Teams Culinary Inspiration

Kitchen Stars

MKR Contestants

My Kitchen Rules teams share their culinary inspiration


Damo n Caz logo
Damo n Caz
Damo n Caz Table
MKR At Our Table

SOUND CHECK
Music has been in Damo’s family for a long time and played a big role in his life. It’s how he and Caz met — Damo was playing a gig and Caz literally fell at his feet when she came up to request a Keith Urban song. The couple’s table theme was all about music, having fun and being entertaining. Damo said it represented them as a couple. “It really set the ‘tune’ for the night,” he said.

SWEET MUSIC

Married Tasmanian sweethearts Damo and Caz are proudly taking on the mainlanders

What are your pantry staples?

Damo: Garlic is a huge one for me, also red wine for making jus, sugar and chocolate.
Caz: Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, chilli, honey and egg.

Most recent food discovery?

Damo: Sriracha sauce. I hadn’t tried it until recently and now I love it. On its own or in an aioli — it’s incredible.
Caz: Kangaroo. It’s not something I would usually cook, but I really enjoyed it.

Your must-have kitchen gadgets?

Damo: My food processor and pressure cooker. Working full-time and with kids, these two bits of equipment make it so easy to put together great meals in such a short time.
Caz: My favourite kitchen item is a good quality sharp knife, like a Wusthof, and my Scanpan cookware. I also love my slow cooker and pressure cooker, which makes life easy for a busy working family.

Food inspiration?

Damo: I don’t think I could narrow it down to one thing. Every time I see something new or a different style of cuisine, I am just fascinated by it. I love seeing how different people cook and different presentation styles. I guess it’s the discovery of new food that inspires me.
Caz: My food inspiration is the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm at Elizabeth Town, in Tassie. It serves the most amazing chocolate-coated raspberries and pancakes you will ever have. I also really enjoy the Turners Beach Berry Patch, also in Tassie, where you can pick your own strawberries and have an amazing wood-fired pizza.

Food vice?

Damo: Chocolate is definitely my weakness. I can’t say no.
Caz: anything potato. I love potato and am surprised I haven’t turned into one.

David n Betty logo
David n Betty
David n Betty Table
MKR At Our Table

ANCHOR & PALMS
David and Betty’s instant restaurant was inspired by their body tattoos. David has an anchor to remind him to stay humble and grounded, while Betty’s palm tree encourages her to stand tall and never fall.

ART OF COOKING

Hailing from Sydney’s western suburbs, David and Betty may be #justfriends but they’re hoping to be a power couple at cooking

What are your pantry staples?

David: Spam, tuna, spices, Three Crabs fish sauce, soy sauce and rice.
Betty: Coconut oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, prawn paste, honey and palm sugar.

Food Inspiration?

David: Travelling and food I like to eat.
Betty: Lots of YouTube videos and the places I travel to.

Your must-have kitchen gadgets?

David: My anova sous vide machine, my favourite chopping board with ‘Chef Vuey’ engraved on it and my mortar and pestle.
Betty: Mortar and pestle, my favourite knife chopping board and a blender/NutriBullet.

Most recent food discovery?

David: Restaurant Hubert in Sydney. The most delicious French food.
Betty: Salted seaweed.

Food vice?

David: French Fries.
Betty: Chicken and fish.

What food couldn't you live without?

David: Rice and meat.
Betty: Ice cream.

Karen n Ros logo
Karen n Ros
Karen n Ros Table
MKR At Our Table

PROCREATIONS
Their instant restaurant was themed around a birthing suite. “As midwives, we help people who are reproducing and we want to reproduce beautiful food in our kitchen and instant restaurant,” Karen said. “I feel like we have one of the best jobs in the world and we wanted our guests to share this happy, beautiful experience. It’s a celebration of life in the birth suite when a baby’s born and we wanted them to be celebrating a beautiful meal.”

TREAT SUIT

Melbourne-based best friends and midwives Karen and Ros plan to deliver

Your must-have kitchen-gadgets?

Karen: Kenwood food processor, Sunbeam hand mixer, pressure cooker, ice cream maker, Le Creuset Signature round casserole dish, my set of Mundial knives, citrus squeezer, stick grater, mandolin, large wooden chopping board, whisk, wooden spoons and metal slotted spoon, metal and glass cooking bowl, and all my bakeware. I love making cakes.
Ros: I love my lemon squeezer tool, my NutriBullet and my Victorinox knives. I love he slow cooker in winter. I have a little grating plate, which is fabulous for grating ginger. I bought a new set of Baccarat frypans and saucepans.

Food inspiration?

Karen: My food inspiration mainly comes from eating out at a variety of different places, ordering things I don’t cook at home, and by searching the internet, Instagram, Pinterest and heading to the local markets and deli to see what looks nice. The Food Channel is on constantly at home. I just love anything food and get my inspiration from so many different areas. If I had to name one person, it would be donna Hay.
Ros: I am always inspired by pics on Instagram and will actively seek recipes of food I see there. I find eating out, especially for breakfast, always inspiring, especially for plating and serving ideas. My TV is always on the Food Channel, so I’m constantly inspired by the shows there as well. I often watch videos on YouTube for ideas and inspiration.

What food couldn't you live without?

Karen: Seafood. I particularly love salmon, prawns, oysters, crayfish and scallops.
Ros: Strawberries, eggs and chicken.

Favourite cookbook?

Karen: Stephanie Alexander - The Cook’s Companion is my No.1 go-to for recipe ideas, inspiration and information; Donna Hay — every cookbook she does; and The Best Ever Women’s Weekly 50-year anniversary cookbook.
Ros: Favourites are anything from Pete Evans, Lola Berry, donna Hay, Delicious, plus multiple Women’s Weekly cookbooks.

Food vice?

Karen: My grandma’s recipe for Christmas pudding. I make around six puddings every October. It’s a family tradition and we have carried it on since my grandma died in 1996. Once I heat a pudding, I cannot stop eating it. It would be my request for my last meal ever, along with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and homemade brandy custard.
Ros: Sugar and chocolate. I try to avoid them as much as possible, but they are definitely a weakness.

Bek n Ash logo
Bek n Ash
Bek n Ash Table
MKR At Our Table

WILD FIELDS
"We’ve had great times at music festivals together and that’s what we wanted our instant restaurant to be like,” Bek said. “It represented coming together, unity, love, fun and a sense of togetherness in a colourful wonderland. We wanted that outdoorsy, camping vibe. We had lots of dreamcatchers everywhere, which captured that free-spirited vibe."

TEA TIME

Bek and Ash are best friends from Perth who confess their favourite two Ts are Tea and Tinder

What are your pantry staples?

Bek: Spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, chilli, cayenne), caster sugar, flour, sweet potatoes, lemons and limes.
Ash: Various herbs and spices (I’m building quite the collection), Worcestershire sauce, wholegrain mustard and red wine (for cooking).

Food vice?

Bek: I’m addicted to sugar, so I am an absolute savage around anything sweet. Look out!
Ash: Gosh where do I start? Probably chicken nuggets.

Your must-have kitchen gadgets?

Bek: Mandoline; a digital timer is a must; a brulee torch and a dough cutter.
Ash: My Tefal Jamie Oliver pot roast pan and Chasseur cast iron pot.

Most recent food discovery?

Bek: Brains
Ash: Sweet and savoury together in desserts.

Food Inspiration?

Bek: Mandoline; a digital timer is a must; a brulee torch and a dough cutter.
Ash: My Tefal Jamie Oliver pot roast pan and Chasseur cast iron pot.

Tim n Kyle logo
Tim n Kyle
Tim n Kyle Table
MKR At Our Table

THE BOY'S BACKYARD
The boys’ backyard themed instant restaurant was all about showing a little bit of blokiness. Tim said it may have looked like a real casual set-up for a barbecue, but their guests got “anything but that”.

BARBEQUE KINGS

Adelaide best mates Tim and Kyle bonded over their love of beer, beards and food

What are your pantry staples?

Tim: I don’t keep anything in the pantry or fridge. I buy daily or eat out a lot.
Kyle: Spices and oil.

Food vice?

Tim: Chips and dip, cheese and chilli.
Kyle: Cookies.

Your must-have kitchen gadgets?

Tim: Ninja (blender), Nespresso coffee machine and a sharp knife.
Kyle: A sharp knife, good chopping board, NutriBullet and good non-stick pan.

Favourite cookbooks?

Tim: The internet.
Kyle: The Blue Ducks’ Real Food and New Kitchen by Karen Martini.

Food inspiration?

Tim: : If it looks good, I’ll eat it.
Kyle: Travel.

Most recent food discovery?

Tim: Beer in desserts.
Kyle: I've been using harissa a lot lately.

What food couldn't you live without?

Tim: Chips and dip, cheese, pizza, pasta and chilli.
Kyle: Steak, garlic, chilli and eggs.

Amy n Tyson logo
Amy n Tyson
MKR At Our Table

MOSAIC
Mosaic reflected the way the siblings liked to plate up dishes, Amy said. “It represented how we cook,” she said. “We take inspiration from a lot of different things, places we’ve travelled to, recipes we’ve experimented with and restaurants that we’ve eaten at.”

FAMILY FARE

Brisbane siblings Amy and Tyson are out to prove they’re anything but average cooks

What are your pantry staples?

Amy: Salt, pepper, oils, chilli flakes, Worcestershire sauce, vanilla pods, sugar, flour, corn flour, panko bread crumbs, anchovies, yeast, stock, vinegar, baking powder and gelatine sheets.
Tyson: Garlic, olive oil, onions, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Your must-have kitchen gadgets?

Amy: A blender, frypan, pressure cooker, mandoline, sieve and a meat thermometer.
Tyson: Sous vide machine and a whipping siphon.

Most recent food discovery?

Amy: Sriracha sauce. I hadn’t tried it until recently and now I love it. On its own or in an aioli — it’s incredible.
Tyson: Kangaroo. It’s not something I would usually cook, but I really enjoyed it.

What food couldn't you live without?

Amy: Buffalo chicken wings, burgers and chilli.
Tyson: Burgers, chicken wings and steak.

Food inspiration?

Amy: Definitely restaurants, food markets and travel.
Tyson: Instagram and my travels through Nepal, Fiji, Spain, London, Paris and North America.

Amy n Tyson