Matt and Melissa (South Australia)
Matt Michaelis, 41, and Melissa Edwards, 37, may be divorced but
food and the love of their eight-year-old son Max binds them.
The passionate Adelaide foodies have joined forces in the competition and they believe it's a winning combination.
"Melissa brings finesse and presentation as well as an educated palette," Matt says. Melissa adds, "Matt is great at keeping things calm and making sure things get done."
Together they feel they're sending a positive message to other divorcees and to Max. "We're setting an example to our son about having a go and that despite our situation we can work together," she says.
Matt says they've both been able to put the welfare of Max ahead of their own differences. "We have a beautiful son who we both love dearly. We try to ensure he has a happy, balanced life and that he understands that through no fault of his own we're not together."
The duo, who split seven years ago, have instilled in Max a
healthy appetite for food. "He has quite an established palette and
his own opinions on food," Matt says. "He likes trying new things
and will eat almost anything."
Similarly, Matt and Melissa inherited their love of food from their respective families.
"My father worked remotely so one of the things my mother and I used to do together is bake," Matt recalls. "We'd make things in preparation for when he'd come home. From licking the spoon to actually learning to make the cake, there was always something to keep me entertained in the kitchen."
Melissa remembers, "My grandparents were involved in the Gourmet
Club in Broken Hill and Grandpa was the local butcher. Going to
their home was always a treat of smoked meats, jams, sauces,
preserves and freshly picked fruit."
While Melissa works as a wine rep, Matt is a teetotaller whos only drunk three mouthfuls of alcohol in his life. "It (our marriage) was never going to work out," Melissa laughs.
Matts weakness is chocolate especially Haighs, which originated
in their hometown of Adelaide. "Instead of a liquor cabinet, I have
a chocolate cupboard," he says. "I probably spend about $400 a
month on chocolate and consume up to about a kilogram a day."
Melissa dreams of one day starting up her own business. "I would love to own and operate a providore with home-style healthy meals to go for busy people."
Matt, who's a one-time personal trainer and security guard turned concrete specialist, wants to encourage more men to get into the kitchen. "A lot of men are scared of cooking. They hate to fail. I'd like to see men get away from the barbecues and into the kitchen. It's not a woman's domain".
The couple are quick to allay any suggestion the competition may reignite sparks between them. Matt firmly states, "Any speculation that this may bring us together we can annihilate in one sentence. We are happily divorced!"