Manu Fieldel has been a host and judge of My Kitchen Rules since its inception in 2010, but this will be the first time Colin Fassnidge – while a familiar face on the show, having been a guest judge since 2013 – will also co-host.
When I catch up with the duo ahead of the season premiere, one thing is instantly clear in our laughter-filled conversation – Manu and Colin are truly good friends, and their brotherly bond is undeniable.
And I’m willing to bet that when new season premieres on September 4 on Channel 7 and 7Plus, Manu and Colin as co-hosts/co-judges will be a match made in heaven.
So, what did Manu like best about working with Colin on this year’s MKR? “Nothing,” he jokes.
After a chuckle, Colin answers, “Look, we hang out as friends outside of work; we really just hang out as friends. So, at work, we just had a good time.”
It sounds like Manu and Colin weren’t the only ones having a ‘good time’ on the 2023 My Kitchen Rules set though; the judges gave out multiple high scores to this year’s contestants.
According to Colin, “This year, there were so many highs; like there were so many tens this season. People were just knocking it out of the park.”
“Usually at the beginning of the competition, we can see who will go to the end but this year, it was tougher to choose,” Manu echoes.
“Every team cooks well. They all talk a great game but actually, most of them are backing it up this year,” Colin adds.
But, if they had to choose a team which viewers should take note of when this season airs, Colin reveals: “Radha and Prabha’s food was really good. Just the spicing of the food was amazing.”
When asked what their favourite moment of filming My Kitchen Rules 2023 was, Manu, a jokester to a fault, replies, “When Colin cried. It was lovely.”
Colin on the other hand shared that Nigella Lawson – who will also appear on this year’s My Kitchen Rules – is his celebrity crush.
“Mine was when I was filming with Nigella. Because I haven’t filmed with Nigella before but I’ve always had a huge crush on her. And you know, they say don’t meet your hero. But I got to meet one of my heroes, and she was talking and I was just standing there beside her with my mouth open, staring at her. And then Manu, once we’d stopped filming, pointed it out [laughs].
“She just says stuff. Like the words, I don’t even know where they come from; she’s like a dictionary. And just the way she puts words together, it’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ She’s just a great person to hang out with.”
Looking back to previous seasons of My Kitchen Rules, Manu reminisces about how, despite him typically teaching the contestants, some have taught him instead.
“That’s what’s great about our industry; it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been cooking or how old you are or who’s cooking for you, you always learn something. And there have been many times where I’ve used a recipe [that I learnt] from a contestant.”
Colin agrees saying, “There was once a team that made this consommé, this mushroom consommé and they seasoned it with soy sauce. But it wasn’t an Asian dish, so I thought, ‘Oh that’s very clever –’”
“And now you put soy sauce in everything,” Manu interjects before they both start laughing again.
It’s not the only thing Colin has made a habit of.
“Every time Frenchie [Manu] comes over for dinner, I make this green sauce; [it’s] beautiful. But he complains every time I give it to him,” he says.
Manu retorts with, “It’s a really nice sauce. But it’s always the same sauce!”
After I manage to stop laughing, I ask, “Speaking of sauce, Manu, your catchphrase on MKR is ‘Where’s the sauce?’ Do you have a favourite sauce?”
“No, I don’t… Actually, the green sauce is my favourite.”
The new season of My Kitchen Rules premieres on Channel 7 and 7Plus at 7.30pm on September 4.