The midwives from Melbourne are set to shake things up on this season of My Kitchen Rules! We grabbed ten minutes of their time to chat all things MKR, cooking and (of course!) breakfast in Melbourne. Introducing Karen & Ros x 

Could you please tell us a bit about yourselves?

Karen: Hi! I’m Karen, I’m from Melbourne and, like Ros, I’m a midwife (that’s how we met!). I love cooking, midwifery, my family and being out and about in my garden. I love growing my own herbs, and having fresh produce. I am also a bit of a gym junkie and love a good champagne.

We really like to live life. It’s all about cooking, eating, socialising, delivering babies and friends and family!

Ros: As Karen said, we’re both midwives and have worked together for over 20 years. We work well as a team and I think we’ve managed to carry that through into MKR. Like Karen, I love going to the gym, being around friends and family, and cooking has been something I’ve always loved and had a passion for.

Karen: We’re good multi-taskers!

How would you describe your style of cooking? Have you always had a passion for food?

Karen: I would say I’m very much a home cook, but I like to put a spin on things. I love doing slow roasts, baking, and experimenting with desserts, often I have a base recipe but will then add my own little twist. I love fresh herbs and spices, lots of chilli, nice sauces and elaborate cheesecakes.

My grandmother was a really good cook and we used to stay at her place most weekends while my parents were out and about and I would always help her bake cakes and scones. I’d say I got my passion for cooking from her. I also did home economics at school and have done a few cooking courses over the years. I like having people over for dinner parties and entertaining.

Ros: My style is very similar to Karen, I’ve always been very much a home cook. Lots of roasts and slow cooked meals, lots of fresh ingredients. I come from the country so I grew up with our own cow and milk, and scooping cream off the milk and making ice cream and butter with my mum. My grandmothers were always around so I learnt a lot from them, particularly when it came to making chutneys, jams and preserves. My style has probably changed a little bit, these days I love cooking really fresh and healthy, and make a lot more raw dishes and raw desserts.

What made you decide to apply for MKR?

Karen: I watched MKR for the first five seasons and had always wanted to go on it. I love cooking and I love entertaining and making a beautifual space for guests to enjoy. MKR is about cooking and having a dinner party which appealed to me. Plus I love a good challenge and testing myself. As a midwife you often have to act on impulse and things change quickly, MKR is a bit like that too!

Ros: I always loved watched the show and when Karen mentioned it I said yeah I could do that! And it stemmed from there.

Did you find that your background as midwives gave you a bit of a competitive edge over your competitors?

Karen: 100%. First of all we’re shift workers, so we’re used to long hours. And quite often we both work under stress and need to adapt to changing situations. I think the fact that we’re multi-taskers and cope well with stress has helped us.

Ros: Definitely. I think as Karen said, we’re used to working shift work so we’re quite resilient when it comes to long hours and not getting enough sleep. And the thinking on our feet element (when things go wrong) is very similar to what we do in our job.

We’d love to know what your go-to meals are on those nights when there isn’t much in the pantry and you’ve got lots of hungry mouths to feed?

Karen: It depends on what you’ve got, but anyone can make a good pasta. Homemade pizzas as well, you can easily make a base and pop whatever is in the fridge on there.

Ros: A pasta or even a risotto, because you don’t even have to have any meat. You can use whatever veggies are in the fridge.

What was the best meal you ate during the competition? 

Karen: A homemade soba noodle, in a hot broth with an egg on the top.

Ros: That would come very close, but the tuna with avocado creme entrée was a real stand out for me. The best dessert was the chocolate raspberry discovery.

What are your top spots for breakfast in Melbourne?

Ros: Top Paddock!

Karen: That’s one of mine too! Ros introduced me to it.

Ros: I also love really healthy places, so Serotonin Eatery would be up there and Heal Thy Self co.

Karen: Espresso 3094 is a great local spot too.

And your favourite spots for dinner in Melbourne? 

Karen: I love Estelle for a degustation, Maroush in Eltham does great Middle Eastern food.

Ros: Vatutto in Ivanhoe is great, but we also tend to choose more casual places like Hwaro (Korean BBQ) on Little Bourke Street, it’s really beautiful and cheap too.

Karen: Gurkhas (Nepalese) on Flinders Street is also really good.

And, last but not least, what’s the best meal you’ve ever had? 

Karen: Vue de Monde – a treat for my birthday. I also like my slow cooked lamb shoulder!

Ros: I really like the food at Longrain in Sydney.

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