To mark the milestone 10th season of My Kitchen Rules, Mediaweek is featuring separate interviews with the hosts across the next four days.
Mediaweek is also today releasing separate podcasts with both Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.
Filming on the 10th season of My Kitchen Rules ended in mid-December. The hosts then had a few weeks off until they were called on again for publicity duty a month later just as season 10 of the show launches.
Pete Evans was no stranger to TV when he started My Kitchen Rules
Evans: I was working on television for eight years prior to coming onto My Kitchen Rules. I was with Foxtel on The Lifestyle Channel for about seven years and then I worked for two years with Nine’s Fresh program where we did about 400 episodes in that time.
That finished just as food on TV was kicking off with MasterChef so I was called in to do an audition for My Kitchen Rules. I did have quite a bit of experience coming into this, but never hosting a reality show. I was quite excited about being out of my comfort zone and learning more about myself.
Ten years later I am finding out there is still lots to learn, not only about myself, but about this medium as well.
How Evan’s career changed after he signed on with My Kitchen Rules
Evans: I spent 20 years in professional kitchens in my own restaurants with my family business. That used to take up 80-hour weeks minimum standing at the stove for 20 years. Manu and I are very similar as to how long we have been cooking for and how many hours a week we’ve been cooking for to get to where we are. Often you hear of young chefs wanting to be famous and on television. We did many years of 80-100 hour work weeks in intense work pressures to get to that point.
Neither of us had this on the cards as a career path. It just happened.
TV executives knocked Manu back for MasterChef because of his accent
Feildel: I would like to know what Channel 10 executives think about this. At the time the reason why I didn’t get MasterChef was because my accent was an issue.
I was destroyed. MasterChef became a huge thing and it was like a knife in the heart. But a few months later I got a call from Seven to do a pilot for a new cooking show. One door closes and another opens.
Seven too were concerned about my French accent and I was wondering what the heck was going on.
Surely they knew I had a French accent before they originally approached me.
Pete got the [MKR] gig which was a little bit upsetting. I knew Pete very well, and I thought why him. My ego took over.
He then turned around saying he was not keen to work with the other original co-host and asked about me. The producer told him that he got my job. But Pete said he would really like to work with me.
Apparently people think that my French accent is getting stronger every year. I was hoping my accident would disappear, but apparently it gets stronger.
You don’t visit France every year to keep a thick accent?
Feildel: No. I don’t hear the accent when I speak it. I only hear it when I listen to a podcast or I watch My Kitchen Rules.
Manu revealed the six people originally in the running for hosting MasterChef Australia.
Feildel: Of course there was Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris. The others were Darren Simpson, Tobie Puttock and I.
After my audition they told me I had done a fantastic and they would call me tomorrow. I knew exactly what that meant – piss off you are not good enough.
I don’t regret it. I am very happy for George, Matt and Gary who have celebrated their 10 years as well. It’s great to have two networks with two great shows putting food on primetime TV.