Thomas and Carla (Just friends)
"I can sometimes get a little stressed in the kitchen and Carla can be a little fiery and be a bit of a reactant. That can cause a few dramas. When Carla gets fired up, I just can't deal with her."
Thomas and Carla are just friends but they still generate lots
of heat together in the kitchen.
The Victorian pair - who met at Charles Sturt University in Albury about eight years ago - describe their friendship as "fairly volatile."
"Carla is definitely assertive and she can be a little hot headed," Thomas says. "I can sometimes get a little stressed in the kitchen and Carla can be a little fiery and be a bit of a reactant. That can cause a few dramas. When Carla gets fired up, I just can't deal with her."
Carla adds: "There's a lot of things that drive me crazy about Tom in the kitchen. He can be a little controlling and he can get quite flustered."
But Carla believes their different personalities balance each other out. "He's the ying in my yang," she laughs.
Thomas, 25, enjoyed an idyllic upbringing on the Mornington Peninsula. "I was really lucky enough to grow up on an acreage down there with a very small vineyard which produces maybe four to five hundred bottles a year," he says.
He traces his love of food back to the family dinner table. His mum is an exceptional cook and he likens the quality of her cooking to that of a fine food restaurant. "My mum is an excellent cook," he says. "Sitting at the dining table is like stepping into Vue De Monde. Every dish she produces has exceptional flavours. So I'd watch her and learned through observation."
Carla, 26, was born and bred in Melbourne. "I grew up in the west of Melbourne which is a pretty ethnic area surrounded by lots of restaurants and cafes," she says.
With a Maltese father and Dutch mother, she was raised valuing the importance of home cooking. "Coming from a European background, food is very important," she says. "There was no takeaway in our house."
They both share a passion for travel and have eaten their way across the world. Thomas has sampled tarantulas in Cambodia, guinea pig in Peru, grasshoppers in Vietnam and turtle in Thailand. "I'm addicted to travel," Thomas says. "I could easily spend my life backpacking."
The most adventurous thing Carla has sampled is barbecued chicken hearts in her travels across Europe, Asia and South America.
Thomas - a Stephanie Alexander fan - defines his cooking style as modern Australian. Like her culinary hero Jamie Oliver, Carla enjoys experimenting with Mediterranean flavours. "I love the way the Italians and Spanish eat," Carla says. "It's not about counting calories; it's about eating till you burst and bringing families together."
Neither Thomas or Carla have dreams of pursuing a career in food. Carla loves her job as a speech pathologist for children with special needs. "I find it really rewarding when you see the changes - no matter how small - bring joy and happiness to the kids and their families," she says.
Meanwhile, Thomas, who is currently a podiatrist, has just been accepted into law school where he plans to focus on medical negligence.
They've entered the competition for the experience and the opportunity to become better cooks. "My Kitchen Rules is definitely our next challenge," Thomas says. "We're going to be taking ourselves out of our comfort zones."
Carla adds: "We love to eat, travel and meet new people. This show is the perfect opportunity to do all of that."