The Spicy One
Colin Fassnidge didn’t think My Kitchen Rules could surprise him anymore in 2016.
After all, last season he stepped up his judging role and took a secret third group around the country, he also landed himself a new apprentice for his Sydney restaurant Four in Hand.
But producers have even surprised him with what's on offer for the 2016 series. “Even I was surprised with what they came up with. Every year they freshen it up and this year it's especially fresh,” he says.
Always on watching out for new emerging talent, he says there is a lot of talent among this year's MKR contestants.
“I’m always on the lookout for new apprentices, but if they [contestants] talk to Drasko, I think they'll change their mind pretty quick,” says the cheeky Irish chef known for his no-nonsense judging.
Colin may have a hard time narrowing down who he would like to cast in his own kitchen and he thanks MKR for the increase in talented home cooks.
“MKR has definitely changed home cooking in Australia. I think everyone knows good food from bad food now and they expect a lot more.”
Known for his nose-to-tail cooking philosophy, the outspoken Irishman says he was drawn to cooking as a career at the age of 12, after seeing esteemed French chef Raymond Blanc on a television program.
The eldest of three siblings, Colin recalls a Sunday roast being the first meal he ever cooked and says his passion for food was supported by his mother Colette and father Tony, who, he says, are "both good cooks".
The 41-year-old father to two began his career at Oxford's Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in 1994 where he completed his apprenticeship under his idol, Raymond Blanc.
Colin stayed in London for five years before heading to Australia after deciding to combine his love of travel with work.
Arriving in Australia in 1999, Colin worked at some of Sydney's most acclaimed restaurants including Banc and est. While working at est, Colin met his wife Jane, who hails from Northern Ireland.
Colin has been Executive Chef of The Four in Hand Dining Room since October of 2005. Since starting at The Four in Hand, his unique style has seen it transform from a small dining room in a pub to a 'foodie' destination.
In May 2011, Colin opened 4Fourteen. The Surry Hills hot spot was awarded the coveted Chef Hat just four months after its doors opened.
Crowned GQ Magazine’s Chef of the Year in 2013, Colin released his first cookbook Four Kitchens in 2014.