His personal mantra is “cook with love and laughter” and that's exactly what co-host and judge Pete Evans wants to see from the new crop of MKR contestants. “Love is the key ingredient for any successful dish,” says Pete.
Pete cites his mum’s spaghetti bolognaise as his favourite go-to dish. While he's made a few tweaks to fit into his paleo philosophy, including upping the vegetable content and ditching the pasta, he says it's the dishes you've cooked many times that contain that vital love ingredient.
A fan of nose-to-tail cooking, Pete was pleasantly surprised to be served numerous offal dishes at this year's instant restaurants. “The standard of cooking among our contestants has definitely lifted. Our home cooks have evolved – they are more multicultural, inspirational and a lot more seasonal.”
Pete is a man of many talents. In addition to co-hosting My Kitchen Rules since 2009, he is a respected chef, health coach, entrepreneur, author and father. Born in Melbourne and raised on the Gold Coast, Pete's passion for cooking was discovered early on.
“My cooking life really kicked off when I ditched going to university and became an apprentice chef so I could surf all day and then cooked all night. Not that that really ever eventuated . . .”
Pete has opened and consulted on eight award-winning restaurants over the last 25 years, and loves catering large events where the pressure is definitely on. The keen fisherman and seafood devotee has a raft of cooking shows under his belt both locally and internationally.
An accomplished author, Pete released his 11th cookbook recently titled Fast Food for Busy Families. He is a regular contributor to magazine titles Gourmet Traveller, Wellbeing as well as writing for Good Food and The West Australian Newspapers.
In recent years, Pete's love of fresh, healthy and organic food along with his passion for nutrition and wellbeing has influenced his recipes and cooking style. He is now a health coach qualified through New York's Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Pete's latest project, The Paleo Way, is a healthy eating and wellness program. It consists of an online health program, a television program and a series of national speaking tours.
Pete is also an ambassador for the Australian Organic Schools Garden project.