Maketu sisters too good for Arrowtown cooks

Undone by 'challenge of all challenges'

DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2014
karena bird, kasey bird
WINNING PAIR: Masterchef winners Karena and Kasey Bird, with dad Kerry in background, relax at their family home in Maketu.
jaimie stodler, becs stanley
BATTLERS: Jaimie Stodler and Becs Stanley put up a fight in the MasterChef final.

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With a dignified clap and a strained smile, Arrowtown's favourite celebrity cooks recognised sisters Kasey and Karena Bird as New Zealand's first MasterChef Duo winners last night.

It was one of the few episodes where there were no tears from friends Jaimie Stodler and Bec Stanley as the winners were announced, but three months of emotions overflowed as they were joined by their children and partners at the conclusion of the final episode.

Over two hours the pairs were seen facing three challenges. Despite winning the first roast lamb and crayfish challenge and drawing the second in a professional kitchen, Stodler and Stanley were outdone by the calm perfection of the Maketu sisters in the final "Challenge of all Challenges".

The Bird sisters went into the final as favourites.

They consistently won challenges during the series and were sitting as the people's choice last night claiming 91 per cent of the popular vote on the TVNZ website.

However, the Arrowtown battlers, whose demeanour in the kitchen saw Australian chef Matt Moran compare them to the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character Taz, did not go down easily.

While cooking the roast lamb, Stanley cut her finger, Stodler used agar instead of meat glue and judge Simon Gault described the twosome's style as a "freaky dance" when contrasted with the calmness of the opposition. However, they won.

The second challenge will have surprised many of the 180 guests at the opening of Josh Emett's fabulous Madame Woo restaurant in Queenstown Mall last year.

The couples were in the kitchen prepping the Asian delicacies that were rolled out on the night and earned the teams equal points for their efforts. The restaurant is only doors from Stodler's own Cup and Cake bakery but may have put them at some disadvantage after Emett had earlier in the series stated he did not want Stodler's style in his kitchen.

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- Fairfax Media

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