Dan and Steph savour MKR success in TV special
THEY are My Kitchen Rules' biggest success story, and now local restaurant owners Dan and Steph Mulheron are reflecting on how the show changed their lives.
Dan, Steph and their daughter Emmy will feature in tonight's 10th anniversary MKR special, which will celebrate the reality cooking show's best moments over the past nine seasons before a new crop of home cooks make their debut in the upcoming new season.
"Steph loves it and watches it religiously. If I'm passing the TV I'll stop and have a look," Dan said.
"I'm a fully qualified chef now, so I've been in the kitchen for (the past) five years and I start work at 3am.
"It's funny how a show like that can absolutely change your whole life."
Viewers fell in love with the down-to-earth couple back in 2013. Dan was a painter and Steph worked in media sales and promotion. They were married and desperate to start a family, but had recently gone through an unsuccessful round of IVF treatment.
They went on to win the fourth season of MKR, which allowed them to undergo another round of IVF, put a deposit on a house and open their Hervey Bay café EAT @ Dan and Steph's.
Dan said their popularity from the show was crucial to helping their fledgling business survive its first year of operation.
"The last thing Manu (Feildel, co-host) said to us after filming was don't wait for stuff to come to you. Don't expect stuff to fall in your lap because people won't chase you," he said.
"We were lucky in the first 12 months we were extremely busy thanks to our TV spin on MKR. In regard to cooking, it was no drama. The running of the business was the biggest learning curve for us."
Appearing on MKR, or even taking out the title, is no guarantee of success. Dan said many teams have contacted him and Steph over the years for advice on what to do next.
"They want advice on what to do now. Where do I go from here? We finished filming now what? It's really tricky," he said.
"It's a great platform to work off because Australia knows who you are, but you've got to be careful with how you do it. It's a funny situation to be in after the show.
"We've got nothing but praise for the whole process but I think a lot of our success on the show came from our work ethic. It was always a given that we were going to do something here (in Hervey Bay) and we never looked back."
The My Kitchen Rules 10th anniversary special airs tonight at 7.30pm on Seven.