‘It was ours to win’: Second MKR title eludes Dan and Steph
DAN and Steph Mulheron have narrowly missed out on a second My Kitchen Rules title in a heartbreaking result for the Hervey Bay couple.
The Eat restaurant owners stepped away from their business, which is now closed because of the government's tough new coronavirus measures, to return to the reality cooking show, which introduced a new rivals format this year.
Tonight's grand final was a tightly-contested grand final showdown against Jake and Elle Harrison - the team they beat in the season four grand final back in 2013.
The loss, by just two points, is still sinking in for Dan and Steph, with two alternate endings filmed to keep the result a secret until it went to air.
"It (the wait) was hard and there were so many things that play on your mind," Steph said.
"It was so close and critiques were very similar.
"We have put our time into the things we can control and not on the things we can't control."
Working side-by-side in the same kitchen at Sydney's 6HEAD restaurant, the two teams enjoyed a friendly rivalry as they plated up their final four dishes of the competition.
"That morning we got up and gave Jake and Elle a cuddle and had coffee together," Steph said.
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On a lighter note...if we can help distract you for just a moment from what’s happening in the world - give your mind & heart a breather....we hope you join us in watching @mykitchenrules tonight at 8pm! Be kind to each other & be safe #covid_19 #MKR #danandsteph #jakeandelle @jakeandelle_
"We got in separate cars and we were snap chatting each other just trying to enjoy the day because not many people get to do an MKR grand final once so for us to both get to do it twice was really special."
With restaurant-quality dishes and sky-high scores, the judges proclaimed it the best food served in the show's history.
They may have been pipped at the post, but Dan and Steph can at least take comfort in the feedback on their food.
Pete Evans said their main course brought a smile to his face with every mouthful.
"That was the best dish you have cooked for me ever and I will remember that dish for the rest of my life," he said.
Colin Fassnidge was bowled over by their pigs ear entree, while Manu Feildel loved their use of sweet Hervey Bay scallops, a nod to home, in their canape.
"We didn't want to be the only ones making money from this experience. We want the whole region to be able benefit," Dan said.
"We are so passionate about Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast."
The $100,000 grand prize is a windfall for Jake and Elle, who have also been forced to shut their Eat Street restaurant in Brisbane.
Steph said she and Dan will now focus on getting their business through this tough time.
"We will focus on our business and our goals and the projects we have been working on," she said.
"That's thing like our sausages, which are now out, improving things at Eat and coming up with new menus.
"We have also been working on a weight loss surgery cookbook."
Dan and Steph's grand final menu:
Canape: Hervey Bay scallops with apple and cucumber
Entree: Ham hock terrine with pig ears
Main: Beef Bourguignon with root vegetables
Dessert: Hazelnut + chocolate