Arrowtown friends Bec Stanley (left) and Jaimie Stodler,
pictured on Sunday during the Arrowtown Autumn Festival,
have made it into the final of MasterChef New Zealand.
Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Arrowtown pair Bec Stanley and Jaimie Stodler are
''absolutely stoked'' to be in this Sunday's Masterchef New
final, but are remaining tight lipped about its
The pair eliminated mother-daughter duo Nicola and Jordan
Shearer, of Lower Hutt, with scores of 9/10 for Sunday's
challenge and 7/10 for last night's duo of beef challenge.
They join the Bird sisters, Kasey (23) and Karena (25), of
Maketu, in the final, to be broadcast next Sunday.
Ms Stanley (40) said it was an ''absolute privilege'' to be
in the final considering the calibre of contestants.
Ms Stodler (36) said she ''thought from the beginning we had
what it took to get to the top two''.
The pair told the Otago Daily Times yesterday they
were taking television stardom in their stride while juggling
their business interests and young families.
The Arrowtown team is sworn to secrecy by the programme's
producers, but fans still ask them what is going to happen as
the grand finale of the fifth series of MasterChef New
Zealand draws near.
Ms Stanley and Ms Stodler, rival duos and judges recorded the
show in Auckland over several months late last year.
''It's very easy to forget the cameras are there and it
becomes an everyday occurrence to have a cameraman in your
face, a microphone strapped to your shirt and judges
screaming at you,'' Ms Stanley said, with a laugh.
''It makes us out to be quite serious and competitive people,
but Jaimie and I were just the biggest jokers on the show and
we had so many laughs with the judges, but it hasn't shown
any of that.''
Ms Stodler said there were two days of filming to make an
hour programme and the experience differed from what was
presented to viewers, but it was still entertaining to watch.
''We had to laugh our way through it because there were
moments which were so ridiculous, so we've been a bit
surprised we've come across as more worked up than we were,''
Ms Stodler said.
The friends described working together as ''brilliant fun''
and picked each other's spirits up when needed.
Their culinary skills complemented each other as Ms Stanley
said she was ''a savoury person'' and Ms Stodler ''a sweet
person'' and they were quickly able to bounce dish ideas off
They hosted a party with their family and friends to watch
the first episode, but the two mothers have young children
and the transmission time is past their bedtimes, making it
difficult to get together regularly to watch.
However, the three Stanley boys are excited to watch their
mother on TV, although Ms Stanley said she finds it ''quite
Ms Stodler said she was ''super hyper critical'' of herself
on screen at first, but she is almost used to it now.
''It's exciting for everyone, including us, because part of
us not knowing what the editing is going to do means we also
don't know what's going to happen.''
Special guest Michelin star-winning chef Michel Louws put the
duo and their counterparts through their paces last night.
The Dutch chef brought along two beef dishes.
The cold starter was a beef tartare with oysters and pickled
vegetables, while the hot main was a piece of roast Taupo
beef rump with crispy bearnaise sauce and onions two ways.
The competitors tackled a variety of processes - pickling,
marinating, sous-viding, deep-frying, roasting, making a
sauce and crackling - within only 90 minutes.