Kitchen bucket wishes fulfilled

01:19, Aug 27 2012
DREAM TEAM: From left,
DREAM TEAM: From left, Bucket Wish host Aaron Carotta, Smith and McKenzie Chophouse owner Toby Elliottyson, CanTeen member Victoria Carroll, NZ Master Chef winner Chelsea Winter and CanTeen member Hope Atwood

A young cancer survivor ticked an item off her bucket list at the weekend, cooking alongside Master Chef winner Chelsea Winter.

The experience was part of a new television series, Bucket Wish, which aims to give CanTeen members the chance to live their dream.

Hamilton CanTeen members Victoria Carroll, 22, who has acute myeloid leukaemia, and Hope Atwood, 23, whose younger brother battled with brain cancer, both wished to meet and cook with a celebrity chef.

"I love to cook and bake, and I love watching cooking shows on TV, particularly ones by Gordon Ramsay and Master Chef," Ms Carroll wrote to show creator and adventurer Aaron Carotta on Facebook.

"I remember when I was sick and could not eat for a period of about 10 weeks, I would watch the cooking shows and dream of all the wonderful food I could potentially make and eat when I was better."

Mr Carotta, a cancer survivor himself, granted the pair's wishes on Saturday at the filming of an episode of Bucket Wish at Hamilton's Smith and McKenzie Chophouse.


Chef and owner Toby Elliottyson said they were required to cook eight servings of his steak dish, along with cauliflower puree, caramelised onions, arancini (fried rice balls) and a pea and horseradish crush.

"They did a really good job. I was super happy and super proud of them for getting in there and giving it a go," Mr Elliottyson said. "It was pretty special for them too and a good bit of fun."

Current Master Chef champ Chelsea Winter helped the girls with the challenge.

Florida-based Mr Carotta, who recovered from his own battle with cancer in 2008, has been ticking off a series of bucket list adventures in New Zealand, and across the world, for three years.

Known as Adventure Aaron, he has produced a TV series about his travels.

He said having CanTeen members join him on his Bucket Wish journey through New Zealand "has been the greatest experience of all".

Bucket Wish is scheduled to air on Choice TV on September 29.

Waikato Times