TWO Gwent entrepreneurs feature on our screens tonight when they host and a dinner party in Newport as they compete in a fierce new cooking show.
Emma Evans, of Caerleon, who runs The Secret Supper Clwb, with hairdresser Phillip Mungeam, of Usk, are representing Wales in My Kitchen Rules, which sees six pairs of amateur cooks from Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales work in teams on a string of intense culinary challenges over 10 episodes, to be crowned Britain and Ireland’s best home cooks and win £25,000.
Hosted and judged by chef and best-selling author Lorraine Pascale and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, the show is based on the Australian format which has been a huge success.
Mrs Evans, who is a client of Mr Mungeam’s at his hair salon The Room, in Usk, is a mum-of-three and runs a pop-up dining events business.
Both are passionate about cooking and after meeting realised they share a love of cooking and set up The Secret Supper Clwb in 2012.
“I come from a family of great cooks, I’m one of six and we pretty much all love to cook,” explained Mrs Evans.
“I was brought up in the hospitality business with my family owning and running hotels, restaurants and guest houses in Cornwall.”
Mr Mungeam, who runs a care agency, wig company and hair dressing salons, said his passion for cooking began when he left college.
He said: “I come from a family of not great cooks which reflected in my early cooking disasters, but thanks to cook books and well-stocked supermarkets, I got better.”
Mrs Evans heard about the show, which was filmed in various locations around Britain over seven weeks, last year, and asked Mr Mungeam to enter it with her.“Filming was the hardest thing I have ever done. The heat of the summer and of the studios was intense,” said Mr Mungeam.
Despite the stress Mrs Evans admits it was an incredible experience.
She said: “We cooked with amazing ingredients, learned new techniques and ideas, and having the chance to cook in a professional kitchen are just some of the highlights.”
In tonight’s episode Team Wales will welcome guests to their magical fairytale-themed ‘Once Upon a Time’ restaurant at a location in Newport and cook for the teams and judges.
Hoping for a happy-ever-after ending, the duo greet judges with a special ‘Drink Me’ potion, while in the kitchen, Emma holds court and has a variety of swish techniques to show off in their bid to win the title.
My Kitchen Rules can be seen at 9pm on February 20 on Sky Living.