Bundy boy all set for My Kitchen Rules
TEACHERS Paul and Blair have become the students in the new season of My Kitchen Rules.
The physical education teachers, who live on the Gold Coast, represent Queensland in the first round of the reality cooking show's instant restaurants starting on Monday night.
Presenting their home-cooked dishes to judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel made them feel like pupils awaiting their marks.
"The first time I'm standing in front of Pete and Manu, that was one of the most nerve-racking things," Blair told APN.
"As a teacher you stand in front of people all the time, but this was different.
"We were the students. You're about to stand up and listen to these guys tell you how good your food is and you're thinking 'is what we've done good enough for these two chefs?'"
The long-time mates have been cooking and surfing together for years and have a passion for Asian, particularly Balinese, cuisine.
Paul, from Tugun, and Blair, from Burleigh, worked at Robina State High School together for 13 years before Paul moved to Coombabah State High School on the northern end of the Gold Coast.
But Paul, who was born in Brisbane, spent his childhood growing up in Bundaberg and credits his mum for his love of cooking.
"Mum sent me away from home with a handwritten book of my favourite recipes that she would cook for me," he said.
"When I go up there we still talk about recipes and I cooked for her last time I was up there (for Christmas).
"She was very much ahead of her time and I guess that shapes who you are. I was very fortunate mum was right into it."
The 46-year-old has fond memories of a carefree childhood filled with sport.
"My memories of Bundy are of it being a sporting town. I played every sport I could physically have a go at," he said.
"My childhood I remember was just carefree. We used to go to the beach every Sunday at Bagara. It was a good place to grow up as a kid in the '70s."
Paul and Blair will cook for the judges and their fellow teams on Wednesday night. Monday night's first instant restaurant will see them enjoying the gooey delights of NSW cheese makers Annie and Jason.
"It was good that they went first," Blair said.
"I think that would have been another step harder, that pressure, since we didn't know what to expect."
The men knew their lack of a sweet tooth would be their weakness going into the competition.
"You can't cook one thing all the time, and we knew we'd struggle when it came to desserts," Blair said.
"We don't eat them and don't cook them."
They were inspired, though, after meeting last year's winners, fellow Queenslanders Dan and Steph from Hervey Bay.
"They said 'don't sit on your laurels, get in there and work hard'," Paul said.
Blair added: "It was that day that gave me a little bit of inspiration. They virtually said 'we weren't the best cooks but we worked so hard'. It gave us a bit of a pep up, to go well we're probably not the best cooks here either but if we work hard you just never know."
The surfers should also provide plenty of entertaining viewing with their sense of humour.
"Blair and I have done lots of stuff together at school. We've hosted formals, sports evenings and we've always enjoyed the banter," Paul said.
"(The Show) was an opportunity to take it to the next level and have a bit of fun."
The fifth season of My Kitchen Rules premieres on Monday at 7.30pm on Channel 7.