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My Kitchen Rules

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays | TV2

Cathy and Anna (Mother and daughter)

Cathy and Anna (Mother and daughter)

Sophisticated and opinionated mother and daughter duo Cathy and Anna believe "honesty is the best policy" when it comes to critiquing food.

Passing down their love of cooking through the generations, Cathy couldn’t be happier for her daughter Anna to lead the way in the kitchen, despite her being a bit bossy at times!

For Cathy, 55, and Anna, 26, cooking has always been in the family.

"My mum always cooked and still does," says Cathy.

"She’s 81 and she’s still coming up with new recipes. It’s just something we love doing. I’ve taught Anna all I know, but she’s taken cooking to the next level."

Adds Anna: "We grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Northern NSW and I’ve been cooking since day dot. We couldn’t get takeaway so you would have to cook. We’d always have homemade orange cakes in our lunch boxes. Nothing was ever bought."

Counting chef Stephanie Alexander as their foodie hero, the family duo has a habit of consulting "The Bible" when they’re cooking.

"It’s always, ‘Go and look what Stephanie says," laughs Cathy.

Anna also has a soft spot for Jamie Oliver: "I just love the way he cooks, bit of this, bit of that. He’s not shackled down by recipes. It’s how everyone should cook."

Referring to her mum as the "pastry queen", physiotherapist Cathy and Anna, who edits a website called Best Restaurants, enjoy the savoury things in life.

"Mum is really good at desserts," says Anna proudly.

The pair couldn’t be closer, despite Anna now living in Sydney.

"We speak two or three times a day, easily," says Cathy. "And if not, it’s text messages or emails. Most often I will ask, ‘What are you having for dinner tonight? Where did you go for lunch? Did you have a nice coffee?"

Coffee-lover Anna agrees: "It generally revolves around food."

Cathy says deep down, her daughter is just one of the boys. Growing up with two brothers, Anna, who played rugby as a child, was a walking contradiction.

"She’d be dressed immaculately in a beautiful white smock dress and she would go out in the cattle yards or she’d be up in the garden in the mud," chuckles Cathy. "Sometimes she’d have three or four changes in a day - at the age of 5."

"I hope I’m not as precious as that now," protests Anna, who is engaged to be married to her partner for eight years Andrew this year.