Monique & Sarah
Workmates Sarah, 26, and mum-of-four Monique, 33, bonded over their love of food in their stressful office. As police officers, work is serious and coming home to cook is a good relaxer for these two.
How did you end up on MKR?
Monique: I said to Sarah, "You're a good cook aren't you?" And she said, "Yeah I'm a good cook." "Good, do you want to do MKR with me?” And so we filled out the application in our lunch break.
How long have you been work mates?
Monique: It's a very young relationship. We'd only been working together about three months when we applied for the show. We've known of each other for about four years. We bonded in a very male-dominated workplace - Sarah and I enjoyed each other's femininities, and eating healthily surrounded by all the boy smells.
Who taught you how to cook?
Sarah: I remember growing up my mum Cheryl saying, "Sarah you need to come into the kitchen, you need to see this, you need to know this one day." Her big thing is you don't throw out anything. As a kid I was just like, "Whatever Mum." When I got a bit older, from maybe 16 onwards, I started to develop a bit of an interest in what she was doing and I wanted to watch. By the time I had almost moved out of home, I had a really big interest and started looking at the different aspects of food and the healthy side of food.
Monique: I’m half-Dutch and half-Maltese and I come from a very big family. Anytime we would go to a family function it was all about the food. If you rocked up to my Nona's house and said you weren't hungry that's unheard of. "Of course you're hungry, you’re always hungry." She's my main inspiration. I have a picture of her on the fridge - she looks over me cooking every day.
What style of food will you be cooking?
Monique: We're modern Australian but then Sarah has her family type of cooking (Italian Polish) and I have my family cooking.
What ingredients do you use a lot of?
Sarah: Butter, rosemary, a lot of garlic, onions, cream and a lot of vegetables as well.
Monique: I like my protein and spices.
Are you girly girls outside of the police force?
Sarah: We're girly girls at work! We’re always like, "Is my hair ok, does my make-up look ok?"
Monique: We try to be as girly as we can. We can't wear jewellery, that's Health and Safety thing, but we might put a nice little ribbon in our hair.
Have you found the job as fulfilling as you thought it would be?
Monique: I look at life very differently now, unfortunately, because of the things I've seen. It does change your view on life. It makes me appreciate what I've got, my husband, my children, my health and all the beautiful choices my parents made for me. Life's very tough and it's very easy for kids to go the wrong way very easily.
How do you cope under pressure?
Sarah: The pressure in the kitchen is a little bit different than the pressure out on the street at work. But we can grab some positivity from what we do at work and try and use it the same way to try and calm ourselves down. But when we first met Pete and Manu, we melted. That shocked me!
How competitive are you?
Monique: We're competitive within ourselves in that we want to do well and hopefully really knock them out of the water, at the same time we don't wish ill on someone else so that we can succeed.
How opinionated are you?
Monique: We're very honest because we're also representing the NSW Police; it's important within our work and what we do, to be honest people. We uphold the law, we are sworn to be truthful, so we're carrying that through to our experience with MKR. If we like something we say so and if we don't like something then unfortunately we say so too!