Couple aim to rule in kitchen
A Palmerston North couple are hoping a dash of Polynesian flavour will be the secret ingredient needed to snag them the top spot in My Kitchen Rules New Zealand.
Aaron and Heather Freeman are the only team from Palmerston North competing in TV One's My Kitchen Rules New Zealand, which starts on Sunday.
Aaron, 36, calls himself a cooking show addict, while Heather, 31, said she was just along for the ride.
It had been Aaron's dream for years to compete in a cooking show competition, he said. He spends his days at home with their daughters Halle, 4, and Sanaa, 2, picking up tips from shows like MasterChef.
He decided to apply for the show at the last minute with a friend but was told they were not eligible because his friend was a qualified chef.
Luckily, the producers liked Aaron, and told him to find another partner.
"I posted something on Facebook but no-one had the balls to do it."
His wife was a last resort as they have two young children together and they didn't want both parents to be away from home for too long.
Heather said she didn't really have a signature dish as her husband was the real foodie. "I just do what Aaron tells me to do."
His love for food came from a love of eating, he said. "I'm an Islander. I was put on Earth to eat." His signature dish is slow-cooked pork belly and coconut cream, served on mango salsa.
Aaron hoped to buy his own food truck and travel around the region making his dishes once the show finished but said owning a restaurant "would be the dream".
The show, hosted by chefs Ben Bayly and Gareth Stewart, has a grand prize of $100,000. The couple will be on the show later in the series.