Mother, daughter duo Valerie and Courtney tugged the nation’s hearts in 2017 as finalists in My Kitchen Rules. Spreading their love for cooking and family, the down-to-earth ladies are back and have a big 2019 ahead of them.
With My Kitchen Rules celebrating their 10th birthday this year, SheSociety sat down with the Brisbane ladies and got their advice for other mother-daughter teams who are thinking about applying.
Courtney says it’s all about working cohesively, and most importantly to “make sure there is one boss- your mum.”
Agreeing with this, Valerie jokes “I was the boss, she was the dishwasher!”. She also said it’s all about having a plan before you start and not just throwing yourself into that stressful environment.
Valerie started compiling family recipes into a book, starting with handwritten ones from her father 40 years ago. This book was the inspiration for the family to go on the show, and share their love of cooking. The recipe book is a family affair, with recipes from everyone included, and their tips for those wanting to do the same is to “start now.”
“ Start collecting. Ours is a collage, we use it literally as a book and we just stick all these recipes in.” said Courtney.
“ It wasn’t even just from my father who was the cook, it was from other people- aunties uncles a school teacher.” said Valerie.
“It was so good to start that book up, and I really encourage it. So when people talk to us now, I say if you have a daughter there have a legacy to pass on, get that (book) going. It’s such a good thing to do and it’s so easy!”
With MKR celebrating their 10th birthday, we asked the ladies what their favourite food to cook for a birthday party was, and we were left hungry!
“ Everyone would go for the usual you know platter with sandwiches. We bring the whole spread- there will be curries, there will be rice, there will be the whole spread.” said Courtney.
Giving us a further example, Courtney tells us about a recent cheese platter she asked her mum to whip up for her.
“Simple you know, just make it really simple. So she rocks up and it was literally full of your indian favourites and there was not one bit of cheese on that platter I tell you what!”
And the key for cooking for large numbers? The answer is simply to be organised and to have a plan.
The pair have a big 2019 ahead of them, when asked about their resolutions for the new year. They are planning on releasing a cookbook, which has been a request from fans of My Kitchen Rules since their season ended. They have revealed that they are currently in discussions to get the ball rolling.
“ I think we have taken a little bit longer to do it because we wanted it to be right. This is some recipes that are really special to us, so we want to give them justice. And we want you to be able to cook them. We don’t want you to have recipes that are going to be difficult or time consuming. We want everyone to be able to use spice, it is fabulous to use spice and it is not that hard if you know how to do it. So we really want to teach people how to do that.” said Valerie.
In terms of the best piece of advice they have been given, Courtney can’t go past her mum’s teaching of “knowledge is power”.
“ Educate yourself on as much as possible.” she said.
“ Don’t stop learning, and I think you just have to live in the moment. Enjoy every moment, don’t worry about what happened yesterday or tomorrow. I’m here, I’m going to make the most of it. I just love living in the moment.” said Valerie.
“I say reign it in sometimes mum, take a breath” Courtney jokes. To which Valerie replies, “I can’t help myself!”
Catch the new season of My Kitchen Rules on Sunday – Wednesday at 7pm on Channel 7, and meet the new at home cooks who want to share their recipes with Australia.
Join the conversation: #MKR
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.