‘Soul sis­ters’ ex­cited for fu­ture


Their kitchen might not have ruled but th­ese two Ro­torua soul sis­ters are ‘‘too blessed to be stressed’’ about it.

My Kitchen Rules con­tes­tants Natasha White­wood and Hera Waitai cre­ated a siz­zle with view­ers thanks to their up­beat at­ti­tude even when they were beaten in sud­den death against Wanaka cou­ple Chris and Bex on Mon­day’s show last week.

The pres­sure was on the girls from the start with not only their culi­nary idols Pete Evans and Manu Feildel to cook for but also the cast of Short­land Street.

Their cray­fish en­tree was a hit with the judges, their Risotto main fell short of the mark. Their poached pears for dessert looked to se­cure them the win but they were beaten out by two points in the end as Chris and Bex’s menu.

Com­pet­ing on MKR was al­ways on the bucket list for the best friends, Hera said. ‘‘We are big fans of the show,’’ she said. ‘‘We have al­ways been chal­leng­ing each other putting on din­ners or see­ing what we could cook with only a few in­gre­di­ents. The op­por­tu­nity came up and we took it.’’

Tash said cook­ing for Pete and Manu didn’t add any pres­sure to their gameplan. ‘‘It was re­ally just a priv­i­lege to cook for them,’’ she said.

Hera said grow­ing up in Roto- rua helped pre­pare them for the com­pe­ti­tion, es­pe­cially cook­ing for large groups at the marae. ‘‘We used that as part of our game plan and you have to have a game plan,’’ she said.

‘‘In the kitchen we are fully in our el­e­ment but you have peo­ple film­ing you and the clock count­ing down. You never feel you have enough time in there. Ev­ery­thing that went right and wrong in that kitchen we own it.’’

The pair left the com­pe­ti­tion with a smile on their face.

‘‘Kai is a love and pas­sion of ours. Our time on the show has been amaz­ing and we pushed each other and our­selves through a chal­leng­ing op­por­tu­nity,’’ they said.

‘‘We re­mained true to who we are, have no re­grets and be­lieve ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son. This is only the be­gin­ning, not the end.’’

That new be­gin­ning will in­volve a wed­ding ring for Hera who is get­ting mar­ried in De­cem­ber. ‘‘I’m fo­cus­ing on that for now,’’ she said.

Tash is fo­cus­ing on her foodie Face­book page, Tashzkai, and wants to travel around New Zealand and abroad tast­ing indige­nous cui­sine. The health warning is­sued by the Med­i­cal Officer of Health last month for Otautu Bay has now been ex­tended to in­clude all of Lake Ro­toehu.

The pub­lic are also ad­vised that Lake Okaro, near Ro­torua, is un­safe with an al­gal bloom.

Rou­tine mon­i­tor­ing con­ducted by the Bay of Plenty Re­gional Council has con­firmed blooms of po­ten­tially toxic blue-green al­gae at both lo­ca­tions.

‘‘Th­ese health warn­ings mean that peo­ple should avoid any ac­tiv­ity which re­sults in sig­nif­i­cant con­tact with the lake wa­ter,’’ said Dr Phil Shoemack, Med­i­cal Officer of Health.

Con­tact with wa­ter af­fected by blooms of blue-green al­gae can cause asthma and hayfever at­tacks, skin rashes, stom­ach up­sets, and in some cases neu­ro­log­i­cal ef­fects such as tin­gling around the mouth, headaches, breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and vis­ual prob­lems.

Signs will be erected at both Lake Ro­toehu and Lake Okaro ad­vis­ing of the risk.

Mon­i­tor­ing will con­tinue and any changes in ad­vice will be com­mu­ni­cated ac­cord­ingly.

The pub­lic can ob­tain up-to­date in­for­ma­tion on this health warning and oth­ers by phon­ing 0800 221 555 or on the web­site ttophs.govt.nz/health_warn­ings

MKR con­tes­tants Natasha White­wood and Hera Waitai of Ro­torua were elim­i­nated from the com­pe­ti­tion last week.

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