WHO DO I ADMIRE?
MKR’S PETE EVANS
FIONA BYRNE: Thanks for your time, Pete. How did you start your day?
PETE EVANS: My wife and I do tea most mornings. It is like a ritual. So this morning we woke up, we go to the beach for an hour, have a swim in the ocean pool, take the dog for a walk and then come back and do tea. We drink probably 500ml to a litre of beautiful black tea from Taiwan or China and it is a beautiful ceremony. We do that at sunrise, which is beautiful.
FB: When you signed up for
My Kitchen Rules 10 seasons ago did you think the show would be this successful?
PE: I was lucky enough to work with Foxtel when I started my first job in television, which is nearly 20 years ago, and my first series was called Home on the Lifestyle Channel and that ran for pretty much seven years. Then I did a show called Fish and then one called Fresh, which I did for 400 episodes. Then My
Kitchen Rules popped up. I always have the intention that anyone I work with, it is going to be a long-term relationship.
FB: Have you had offers from other networks trying to lure you away from Seven?
PE: No. None. If I put the energy out there then potentially the offers or opportunities would come, but it is like anything in life. If you are in a relationship with somebody and you are happy in that relationship generally those temptations or opportunities don’t arise. I have worked with Foxtel and Channel 9 and I left on great terms and that is my intention always.
FB: A decade is a lifetime in TV. Ten years down the track, does MKR still challenge and excite you?
PE: What I have loved so far on this journey, if we are talking about television, is the amount of growth I have had from my very first day. I was the greenest, shyest, most novice, most amateur, most scared person ever to step in front of a camera. I am now 18 years into the media side of this career and the growth I have experienced is huge and now I am stepping into another role producing my own films and TV shows.
FB: Have there been any
MKR contestants who really made an impact on you for good or bad reasons?
PE: I am employed to be a judge and a co-host on My
Kitchen Rules and it is a job I take very seriously and with great responsibility. However many people enter this competition each year there are only two people who win. Even in my years of running my own businesses one of the hardest things you can do is let somebody go. These contestants have sacrificed so much to be on the show. They have put their hearts and souls into it and they have had to leave their families (to film the series) and basically Manu and I have to remove 95 per cent of them and that is why we don’t take it lightly. We do care about these people. We want them to have a wonderful experience on the program. But ultimately, we basically sack most of them and it is the hardest part of our job.
FB: What makes My Kitchen
PE: It is the perfect recipe. It has got the drama, the education, the tears, the bitterness, the spiciness, the sourness, it has something for everybody and it is really interesting. It depends on what you focus on. I focus on the evolution of the contestants, I focus on my personal growth and I also focus on the beautiful moments that happen on the show. Everybody has a different perception of the show and generally how you perceive the show could be a mirror into how you perceive yourself in your life.
FB: You are one of Australia’s most successful and popular TV presenters and authors, but you also are a controversy magnet. Not everyone accepts your arguments about health and diet. How does that affect you?
PE: There are conversations now in mainstream media about things, ideas or concepts that I use myself, or implement myself, or have the belief or philosophy about, that have become talking points for the media. I think that is f---ing brilliant that people are now talking about these things in a way that promotes conversation, discussion and further research. America and Canada are so far in front of where Australia is. They are so open-minded and they accept these things that you are talking about that seem controversial. I don’t take all this (controversy) on myself because there are lots of people talking about these topics whether it is low carb, whether it is the industries that are potentially not doing the planet, our own health, and the coming generations health, any good. If we are going to catch up to different parts of the world and if this is part of the process then fantastic, so be it.
FB: Who do you admire the most?
PE: Myself. If we can’t be inspired by our own self, if we cannot admire ourselves … if you cannot start by loving yourself, then how can you love others? I had a friend say, “you can’t say that in mainstream media, people will think you are a f---wit.” I go, “But it is the truth.” Let’s just start speaking the truth and see what happens.
FB: What comes next for Pete Evans?
PE: I have not even started. Every day we start again and I have got so many things in the works. I don’t have a PA, I don’t have a manager, I don’t have an agent, I don’t have an assistant, no publicist, it is just me. What is next is more of the same but on a larger scale.
My beach rules: Chef Pete Evans relaxes at Malabar on the NSW coast. Picture: Adam Taylor
All smiles: With Manu Feildel, left, and an Instagram picture of Evans and his children on their way to Tamarama to surf.