Peter and Gary (Lawyer and Doctor)
"We're really like chalk and cheese but chalk and cheese
that mix," Gary says. Peter adds: "I'd say the cheese is Gary
because it's soft whereas chalk is not. It's quite brittle."
For Queensland academics Peter and Gary, cooking is a welcome escape from their busy working lives.
Peter, 44, a former Commonwealth prosecutor who never lost a single case during his career, now works as a university lecturer teaching law. Gary, 50, is a former GP who also now lectures to medical students.
"Cooking enables us to relax and unwind when we get home," Peter says. "We both have very regimented professions so it's a chance to be artistic and creative."
The Gold Coast pair believe their relationship works because they are so different. "We're really like chalk and cheese but chalk and cheese that mix," Gary says.
Peter adds: "I'd say the cheese is Gary because it's soft whereas chalk is not. It's quite brittle."
While Gary is more considered about the things he says and does, Peter says he's more forthright and opinionated. And he expects his abrasive personality will ruffle some feathers in the competition.
"I'm prone to speaking my mind," he says. "If, for example, a poor quality dish was served up to me, I would not hesitate in refusing to eat it and say why it's terrible."
Their specialty is French with an Australian twist and their signature dish is duck galantine.
Gary's passion for food began after a school trip to France. "I was brought up in Britain in the 60s. It wasn't a great era for British culinary prowess. When I was seven, I went on a school trip to France and we stayed in a little provincial hotel run by a family. I tasted for the first time in my life soup that had flavor. I fell in love that day with France and French cooking and it's a love affair that has lasted the rest of my life."
Peter says he learned to cook largely through "trial and error" and that it wasn't until he met Gary that it really flourished. "My parents were not good cooks so I learned from their mistakes. I never really cooked until meeting Gary who introduced me to the wider world of food."
The fact the men are complimentary in personality and skills will hold them in good stead in the competition. "Where one of us is lacking in something, the other can pick it up," Peter says. "If the other one is busy, the other person can step in and take over without too much trouble."
Gary adds: "We're both used to thinking on our feet which is critical in both our professions."
But desserts are their weak point. They recall a chocolate soufflé disaster they served at a dinner party once. "We followed the recipe and it looked beautiful on the outside," Peter says. "It'd risen but there was nothing inside. We still don't know to this day where the rest of the soufflé disappeared to."
Neither of them have ambitions to turn their hobby into a career. They've entered My Kitchen Rules to challenge themselves. "Once you've been in a job for a number of years, the challenge wears a little bit thin," Peter says. "I was looking for something to inspire, motivate and excite me."
Gary adds: "We've been together for 21 years and thought this would be a fantastic experience, completely different to our daily lives."