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MKR NZ's Rotorua besties sent packing

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

In a closely fought battle, Rotorua besties Tash and Hera became the second team eliminated from the competition tonight.

The larger than life pair was on the chopping block after losing out by just two points to Wanaka duo Chris and Bex in the first Sudden Death Cook-Off.

The pressure was on from the start with both teams cooking a three-course meal that would be scored by judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel, the other teams AND VIP special guests - the stars from Shortland Street.

Pete Evans said the standard of cooking from both teams was "exceptional" but unfortunately one team would be going home, and the other would go through to the final round.

Tash and Hera cooked a menu that was close to their hearts, "home cooked kai made with aroha" and a meal they knew their family would be proud of.

The girls were praised for their well-cooked crayfish entrée, but Pete Evans called them "brave women" for cooking risotto for their main dish for such a large number of people, "it’s a tough job even for professionals," he added.

Despite a dessert of poached pears that lacked "wow factor", the girls were sure they’d done enough to come out on top.

But it wasn’t completely plain sailing for Chris and Bex. Their entrée of rabbit roulade was impressive, and Pete called an accompanying sauce for their beef main "one of the best in the competition so far." But the pair came under fire for an "enjoyable" but "intense" dessert and reminded by the judges that they should concentrate on "quality not quantity."

Both teams received an aggregate score from the Shortland Street cast of 8 out of 10, and the remaining MKR teams dished out 23 for Tash and Hera but only 19 for Chris and Bex.

With a 4 point lead hanging over their heads it seemed like Chris and Bex would struggle to close the gap, but a 9 from Manu for their entrée helped propel them to the top with a final score of 76 over Tash and Hera’s 74.

Tash and Hera’s mantra "too blessed to be stressed" helped steady their nerves throughout the competition and tonight was no different, leaving the elimination with a smile on their faces.

Tash and Hera said: "Kai is a love and passion of ours. Our time on the show has been amazing and we pushed each other and ourselves through a challenging opportunity. We wanted to make our iwi, hāpu, whānau and friends proud and I think we did that. We are humbled by this experience and consider our fellow contestants whānau. We remained true to who we are, have no regrets and believe everything happens for a reason. This is only the beginning, not the end."

Manu said: "Loosing you girls is tough, really tough. For me, New Zealand is the Māori culture and you taught us that straight away. You cook with aroha and the same tonight.

Pete added: "And we’re so pleased to have tried your beautiful culture and your delicious food."

Next week on MKR NZ the competition reaches boiling point when foodie friends Heather and Mitch battle it out against Auckland mates Jaryd and Ben in the next Sudden Death Cook-Off. They’ll fight to avoid elimination and earn a place in the final round.

They’ll have to pull out all the stops in a bid to impress the judges as well as some of NZ’s sporting elite including: Olympic Para athlete Liam Malone, Silver Fern Katrina Grant, Olympic rower Mahe Drysdale, Olympic BMX rider Sarah Walker and Black Ferns Sevens Ruby Tui.

Catch all of the MKR NZ action every Monday, 7.30pm, TVNZ 2 and on OnDemand.

If you’re passionate about cooking and want to dish up your best for Pete and Manu you can still apply for the next season of MKR NZ airing in 2018:

APPLY NOW at tvnz.co.nz/mkrnz

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