Arrowtown cooking mates Bec Stanley and Jaimie Stodler are heading into tomorrow's Masterchef grand final with nothing to lose.
Stodler told TVNZ the team felt they had already won the competition because they had achieved so much.
"We didnt think we would make it into the top 10. Our families are so proud, and we feel like we have stepped up on behalf of mothers everywhere," she said.
Details of the final, where the pair compete against Maketu sisters Kasey and Karena Bird for more than $100,000 worth of prizes and the inaugural title of Masterchef NZ Duo, remain top secret.
Stodler and Stanley will be at home in Arrowtown watching it with excited family and friends - the same people they missed most while spending three months in the Masterchef kitchen.
Stanley said it was as though they had no control over their own lives during that time.
"My three children Charlie, Oscar and Willi and my husband Toby were the main things I missed most."
Stodler said it was also difficult being away from her Queenstown shop Cup and Cake.
"It was very difficult financially. We nearly had to close my shop while I was away."
Despite being yelled at by judges and celebrity chefs and cooking in extreme pressure situations, there were also some fabulous times, including a memorable trip to Bali.
They had learned new cooking techniques, had a few laughs (Stanley's attempt at cutting up sous vide venison in the restaurant challenge had judges and competitors in hysterics) and got pretty good at reading the judges.
"I think Ray was the hardest to read," Stanley said.
"Josh was very black and white, Simon did his infamous taste and re taste which became easier to read each time, but Ray was very random. It depended on his mood."
The sisters from Maketu would present a big challenge, she said.
"They have been pretty consistent throughout the competition. We know they are incredible cooks, we know the judges love their food, so trying to convince them ours is better is going to be a big big battle."
● The Masterchef NZ grand final screens on TV One tomorrow night at 7.30pm.
- The Southland Times
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