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My Kitchen Rules

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays | TV2

Uel and Shannelle (Newlyweds)

Uel and Shannelle (Newlyweds)

"It wasn’t a love at first sight story," laughs Shannelle, 23. "We both had braces then and we weren’t very attractive. I thought he was a little unfriendly."

Meeting in Sydney in 2005, Uel, 25, says: "Shannelle went to Pymble Ladies’ College and I remember thinking, ‘Oh, North Shore snob.’ But we had the same friendship group for the next five years so we couldn’t get away from each other."

Love eventually blossomed in 2010 when the pair began cooking weekly for friends.

"Uel had moved out of home and started having friends over," says Shannelle. "We became the chefs and so we started to hang out more."

Engaged by May 2011, the Sydneysiders, who work as youth workers, were married in March 2012. And, like many newlyweds, they’re all about comfort food and nesting.

"We love slow-cooked food," says Uel. "Our favourite thing is to put on a pot with some meat and let it cook for the whole day."

Adds Shannelle: "My parents were born in Indonesia and Uel’s are from Singapore so I think our heritages are an advantage. We know what authentic flavours taste like."

Joking that they are lucky to have "fast Asian metabolisms", the couple admit that their dishes aren’t the healthiest.

"Uel’s favorite food is any kind of skin - so chicken skin, duck skin, pork belly…" laughs Shannelle.

Looking past the competition, the couple can’t wait to have children.

"I always say that I want a huge, huge family," says clucky Shannelle.

The cute couple also share a passion for music.

"I play guitar and Uel plays drums," explains Shannelle.