Alex & Gareth
Best mates Alex and Gareth are almost each other's shadows.
From Mackay, they live together on the Sunshine Coast and both work in fly in/fly out mining jobs.
These 25-year-olds have both been saving in the hope of chasing a food dream in the near future. Will MKR be the ticket they need to get them
out of the mining industry and into their own restaurant?
Who taught you how to cook?
Gareth: We did. I suppose we built our essential skills from our folks but I only really got super interested in it while both of us were living out of home at a young age. I really got keen on it when I found out about girls, and wanted to impress them.
Alex: It wasn't until I started living by myself about 23 that I started getting really into it. And now that Gareth and I are living together again, that's when we started cooking together.
What sort of foods do you like to cook?
Gareth: We are big meat eaters. We try to experiment with different cuisines; I notice I cook a lot of Asian. I don't really think to myself I might cook some Asian, it just kinda happens. And I like roasting meats.
Alex: I like trying to make healthy food taste good. We have a lot of friends in gyms and that sort of thing and counting calories and they just eat the most boring stuff. I think I definitely like Asian food more because of all the spices.
What do you love about cooking?
Gareth: Eating, hands down. I think my favourite thing is cooking for other people and seeing the satisfaction on their face when they're eating something nice.
Alex: I think it's a bit of an artwork. It's really satisfying when you serve a good meal.
What are your most annoying habits?
Gareth: I think I get like a foot square on the bench to work with and there's just stuff everywhere.
Alex: Yeah I'm always leaving a trail behind with whatever I’m doing. I leave a bit of a mess. I think Gareth's is trying to get him to places on time.
What do you love most about each other?
Alex: I think Gareth is really cool, calm and collected and I'm the stress head out of us. I think it's good to have him around at times when I'm stressed and Gareth's just like, "It’ll be fine, don't even worry about it." He brings me back to earth at times.
Gareth: I'm kind of the opposite; if I'm under stress he gets me going, gets me to move on a bit quicker. We can count on each other.
Why do you think you have what it takes to win?
Alex: I think being young and pretty ambitious and I guess the drive to not return to the mining industry is enough for us to get through this.
Do you like using recipes?
Alex: I hate 'em. I like to look at them to get a rough idea but as for following stuff step by step it's not really me. Both of us are pretty big on just finding stuff in our cupboards, and I must admit I've never seen anyone at our age with pantries stocked like ours. It's always good for us to open our fridge and pantry and make something awesome from it. I think you get more ideas that way as well, but with a recipe you never really go
outside the box.
Gareth: I think the only time we ever really follow a recipe is if we are trying to learn something super traditional like pasta dough. I like to think we are similar to Jamie Oliver in the kitchen - I like the way he cooks, it’s always a splash of this and a dash of this.
How do you go with the sweet side of things?
Alex: It's definitely a weak point for us.
Gareth: We've already learnt a lot so far. We've been watching a bit of Heston and we are planning on doing a bit of dry ice ice-cream soon.
What’s your food dream?
Alex: We have been saving money from our jobs in the mines so that we can open something of our own and we're kinda hoping MKR will help fast track it. Like a bar and grill type of atmosphere, where you meet your mates and serve food that we like cooking.