MKR winners: We are off to Vegas!
THEY started out as the ring-ins from the UK, but larrikin pair Will and Steve quickly became one of the viewers' favourites and were last night crowned My Kitchen Rules champions of 2015.
"We can't quite hear you over the noise of our private jet… we're currently on our way to Vegas to put all our prize money on blackjack… what do you reckon, red or black?" Will joked when APN phoned the pair today.
Answering red, to fit in with the My Kitchen Rules theme, the boys' giggles stopped. "Actually you might be onto something there," came Steve's very serious and level-headed voice.
Coming down from a high after winning the series over Mt Isa girls Jac and Shaz by a mere two points, the Englishmen were obviously elated.
"We're on top of the world, with everything that's happened in the last 24 hours and the fact we got to share it with our family and friends just tops off an amazing journey," Will said.
The boys watched the finale from a sports bar in Sydney they hired out, with their mates, some fellow contestants and family members by their sides.
"It was a bit self-indulgent and we genuinely didn't know what was going to happen when we were watching so it was pretty cool to see us win," Will said.
And they really didn't know what would happen next - as with a lot of reality shows these days, two alternate endings were filmed … one showing Will and Steve winning, and the other Jac and Shaz coming up the victors.
Both pairs had an agonising wait of a couple of months to find out just who would take home the quarter-of-a-million-dollars in cash.
Making history last night as the first all-male team to win the reality TV cooking show, the boys were humble. "It's an absolute honour. There's been some really strong guys to go before us and hopefully more will apply for the next few seasons," Will said.
The night was made even more special with the surprise entrance of Steve's parents, who flew all the way from England to support their son in the grand final - an appearance that may well have thrown off one half of the pair, albeit temporarily.
"The pressure was there as it was, but when they walked in the pressure increased remarkably… and when I finally got over that they were there it was all right," Steve laughed.
During their time on MKR, the English cooks were able to experience first-hand the quality of produce Australia has to offer - including a challenge that took place on an actual farm.
"I love the produce over here in Australia," Will said. "It's very diverse and it's such an incredible climate to grow everything in, and the freshness and quality of ingredients is absolutely astounding."
Asked what their favourite challenge on the show was over the past season, Will was quick to jump in: "Living with and putting up with Steve was the biggest challenge…" he laughed.
"We got to stay in an apartment block, with Vicki and Celine a few floors above us so we could hear the whining pretty clearly," Will added, as Steve burst out laughing.
"No but to go back to the question, the wedding challenge would have to have been my favourite," Steve said.
"Not many people can say they have catered for a wedding and we absolutely nailed it so we were proud of ourselves."
As for what they'll do with the $250,000 prize money, the boys gave a few hints as to what's on the cards next.
"Australia's got a lot of restaurants well covered, but we have a unique idea for a restaurant and bar we're keeping under wraps for now," Will said.
"It's going to take a lot of work, a lot of planning and will be some time away but that's the end goal.
"In the meantime, we're hoping to continue with the fine dining theme and work on some recipes for a cookbook as well as maybe writing for a paper or online."
The amateur cooking pair relished the chance to cook with a myriad of ingredients, but the answer was unanimous when asked what their number one thing to cook with: "Bacon!" Will replied enthusiastically.
"We also love cooking with butter," Steve added. "Butter really adds a richness to a dish and enhances the flavour. It's delicious, and Manu certainly loved it so we tried to include it as much as possible so he'd lap it up."
With the series being filmed right across Australia as it ventured into each of the cooking pairs' homes in the instant restaurant rounds, the Pommie pair were able to see a lot of different parts of the country. So the big question is, will they stay in Sydney or is a move to Mt Isa now on the cards?
"We're thinking of buying a holiday house there, right on top of The Stack!" Will joked.