Former Dungog High School student Tresne Middleton is a contestant on the current My Kitchen Rules (MKR) series.
The 29-year-old real estate agent teamed up with friend Carly Saunders, a high school food technology teacher, with their instant kitchen shown on Channel 7 on Monday night.
The positive-thinking pair were the first of three new gatecrasher teams to cook against the lowest scoring duos from the previous two groups of contestants as they vie to win $250,000.
The couple applied to go on the Amazing Race in 2012 but weren’t successful. However they were approached by MKR producers to apply for their reality series.
“Apparently they have trouble getting teams from South Australia and they had Jenna and Joanna so they put them in the 2013 series,” Tresne said.
“But last year we were asked to apply for this year’s series and we got in.
“We were thrilled but it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
“I’ve travelled the world and renovated a house, but the instant restaurant was a lot of hard work.
“It was quite hard going first because we hadn’t tasted anyone else’s menus or been to any other instant restaurants.”
The girls who met nine years ago through a mutual friend, live at Maryland and shopped at Coles at Fletcher, their regular supermarket as they knew where everything was.
Their local butcher was also in the same complex.
“It was a very early start and we had to then drive back to mum and dad’s [Bronwyn and Will Middleton] house at Clarence Town for the instant restaurant,” Tresne said.
“So we were behind before we even started.
“The producers sent up a team to make sure the house was suitable for filming and for the restaurant to be separate from the kitchen.
“On the day of filming there were about 50 people around so it was hard to just do our own thing in the kitchen.
“It took so much longer than expected but we loved the experience and we have made some really close friends from the show.”
The girls said if they won they would donate to charities to which they are connected, including SIDS and Kids and an orphanage in Thailand.
The girls had to come up with 11 three-course menus and everything had to be original.
They cooked beetroot and goat’s cheese tart for entree, beef fillet with parsnip purée, baby spinach, beetroot discs and red wine jus for the main and dessert was caramel devine.
The girls achieved a score of 74.
The show will continue tonight, tomorrow night and then next Sunday night through to Wednesday.
Elimination will be next week.