My Kitchen Rules

It’s no secret that new shows usually find their feet in their second season.

Both Producers and audience have a better understanding of what their show is about, what worked and what didn’t. So no surprises that My Kitchen Rules has a ring of confidence that it never quite attained last year.

Accused of being a MasterChef clone, this format (which is an offshoot of Seven’s own My Restaurant Rules) is still close to Come Dine with Me. Very close.

The basic premise of home-cooked dinners where competitors become guests and peer judges has been part of Britain’s Come Dine with Me since 2005. Seven’s format is more serious in tone, avoiding the sense of humour of the UK show and adding an elimination cook-off in the final episodes.

It also has Manu Feildel and Pete Evans, two good-looking chefs who helped this reality series become a surprise hit for Seven last year. Some media even enjoyed making Feildel a bit of a hearthrob. Ooh la la. This year both are back with a focus that is matched by production values, storytelling and casting.

Unlike 2010, two groups of six pairs are presented up front (introducing new teams was a fab twist last year) with 2 chefs from Tasmania thrown in the mix. The pairs comprise partners, friends, housemates, married couples, siblings, cousins, mother and daughter, newlyweds, school mates, butchers, urban hippies, used car dealers, high achievers -am I watching The Amazing Race?

Although it doesn’t quite match the diverse casting of MasterChef, there is nevertheless diversity here with cultural backgrounds that should deliver some interesting cuisines. Middle Australia still rools….

First pair to cook are two “jolly butchers” from Queensland, Artie & Johnny (pictured). You could hardly get more blokey than these two. They punctuate every sentence with the word “maate,” (maybe this show is destined for a digital channel?). Artie drives a 1950s “hot rod” on the Sunshine Coast. His snags even made the state finals of the Queensland Sausage King Competition. Together with his NRL fanatic pal Johnny, these boys love their meat. And they seem pretty likeable.

Each team is required to decorate their “instant restaurant” and buy the produce six hours before the guests arrive. They can’t begin cooking until 3 hours before. This year teams are seen buying some select produce at gourmet outlets before picking up the majority of their food from Coles supermarkets. Looks like that sponsor just added another cooking show to its list.

When the guests arrive at Artie and Johnny’s “Beach Shack” both are still racing to get their dishes ready, but everyone is beaming -and hungry- for the first dinner of the new season.

Without giving too much away the first three episodes are united in cooking disasters (forgot to turn oven on, overcooked, undercooked, bad mixing), critical judges (Feildel and Evans are cruel to be kind), friendly rivalry (so far, most guests are pretty reasonable given this is a competition), eccentric dishes and a dash of individuality (cultural backgrounds, personal stories, storytelling delivery). One contestant is even flirting with Feildel, putting on screen what some viewers may be wishfully thinking.

It isn’t yet clear who may emerge as the series villain -it could do with one. There is also routine re-capping, that the genre so loves.

I fully expect another series twist or mega-challenge in keeping with the show upping the ante. There are reportedly 33 episodes this season, twice that of 2010, to air 3 nights a week.

Seven’s show is no MasterChef killer, still considered by many viewers as the prototype for a cooking contest, but if last year’s series was an entree, then the main course looks like it will easily feed a hungry viewer.

Bon appetit!

My Kitchen Rules premieres Monday January 31 on Seven.


  1. I found Pete and Manou a bit confusing with their instructions Example feeding the Kids the contestants were told to make food in an hour that children will eat. So hence Spaghetti & meatballs( which kid doesn’t like that) Then the contestants were told “It was too simple and lacking flavour” Please Iam just asking they were feeding children Don’t tell them one thing and then change the rules!!!!!

  2. Would someone on the production team please inform a certain young man that it is the height of bad manners to wear a hat when dining, or as a guest in someone’s home – an insult to the host/hostess.

  3. Judging the served food is one thing, as well as thinking one knows all about it,
    I have my sincere doubts – ,

    but also, how about judging some of the guests’ behavior, i.e.

    – as a gentleman, does one wear a cap in the house, even at the table?

    – how many of the invited guests know how to hold their glass and their cutlery properly?

    – some guests wipe their mouths with their hands – how about using a

    – some guests clean their teeth with their finger, does anyone know about tooth picks??

    – some guests constantly talk with their mouth full..

    – some guests rest their elbow on the table, with cutlery in hand ..

    etc etc

    enough said TD

  4. I don’t see the fascination of cooking shows in a country where the vast majority of the population can’t cook and the station schedulers or program execs. still believe there are 70 minutes in each hour long show.

  5. It takes years to become a fantastic chef in a world class resturant, I pity all the hard working chefs who have to sit through this vomit inducing crap!

  6. The show is fab and the format is great – very entertaining indeed. Well done, Seven. So glad you’ve bought this one back. I reckon a montage of Artie and Johnny saying “maaaaaaaate” from Monday night’s episode – (they said it at least 5,000 times -or so it seemed) would be a classically great station promo for 7Mate.

  7. Melissa Grooby

    Love MKR.
    and masterchef
    and Come dine with me.

    Have to say MKR is my fave though.
    Easy to watch – not a food w-*-n-k
    nor el cheapo production value.

  8. @Jack! & Nik C
    Re the Aussie 60 minutes makeover, Lifestyle is launching anew Home themed channel soon (as reported on this site). I have heard that is discussions about a Aussie 60 Minute makeover, interestingly both CDWM and 60MM are ITV shows.

  9. I’d still rather watch Come Dine With Me… but Channel 7 still can’t find a half-hour slot out of three channels though for the UK version. Groan.

    In the meantime, btw, I am loving the Greek version of Come Dine With Me on SBS2!

  10. MKR is not for me. MRR sounds good. I could see MasterChef’s attempt to open a restaurant. I.e: Jimmy does a Curry business or Claire does a modern French cafĂ© or Chris does a steak house, offering every part of the animal. I also can’t see why they offer knifes & suggest these will be their tools to winning. MC suggests the Apron is they key to winning. Also Fidel and Evens, suggest home cooking is cooking from the heart. Yet Calombaris of MC suggests cooking is from the heart. I follow Calombaris’s theory [That’s because i’m a qualifed chef, not a home cook & I love Calombaris’s style]. Yes do they need to tell us their experiances and thaughts in a background similar to MC’s background.

    Come on 7, lets have a real battle! This is more like MKAR [My Kitchen Antics Rule]! MC has antics & they make us watch and hunger for more!

  11. Umm not keen on this! Agree that My restaurant rules was a Better show! Love the idea Jack had:
    “How about Aussie 60 Minute Makeover”
    Laughed hard @ “vomit inducing 3 times a week” too!!

  12. Does not interest me one little bit … painful, gives me indigestion … something new please!!!!
    How about Aussie 60 Minute Makeover … I love the UK version and would love them to come and do my house!!!!!

  13. More unorignal rubbish from Seven. And now at a vomit inducing 3 times a week!!! God help us if this crap is what is being churned out as primetime viewing.

  14. I much prefer Come Dine with Me. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is a lot of fun to watch. Last weeks cast were fantastic, a great mix of characters.

  15. hated MKR.
    well, the only times i saw it was when i was waiting for Greys Anatomy to start last year and MKR went 20mins overtime every single week.

  16. I watched an episode here and there and all they did was moan and groan about other competitors and their restaurants (or bitching) and that wasn’t good tv. It was trash tv.

  17. Even if the rules are taken from another show (which doesn’t make it any more original), you can’t deny that the stylistic elements of the show are uncannily reminiscent of Masterchef (going from series one anyway) including the sets, the music and even the scene where the winners are announced.

  18. The thing I like most about MKR Is the casting. You don’t need to be a good cook it’s more of an amazing race casting where personality, background and streotype take preference.

    Last year Mel&paul from SA were gold.

  19. Wish they’d just bring MRR back. I prefer seeing a show from the moment they get the keys, walk into the space and go “what the hell are we doing” – to opening the doors and letting the punters in. I think it’s why I find the block so appealing, it has the missing ingredient that MKR and MC just don’t have.

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