Arrowtown pair do us proud in the kitchen


A pair of Arrowtowners who got all the way to the MasterChef reality show final are finally on toast.
MasterChef finalists Jaimie Stodler and Bec Stanley, both from Arrowtown, say they’re proud of their achievements after the competition finale aired on television on Sunday. 

The pair finished runners-up to sisters Kasey and Karena Bird, from Maketu, Bay of Plenty. 

The last challenge, part of which involved a pig’s head “to cut up and deal to” was “exceptionally full on”, Stanley tells the Otago Daily Times. 

“It was an unfathomable amount of food to cook in such a short time.” 

In the final, tight scoring shifted from favouring one pair then the other but the sisters eventually took the lead with a perfect 20 out of 20 for one of their dishes. 

Stanley, 40, says she has absolute respect for the winning sisters, who are aged 23 and 25, and was honoured to be considered in the same league. 

”At the end of the day we got out-cooked.” 

The sisters won $100,000 worth of prizes, including two cars, kitchen appliances, kitchenware and groceries, as well as an exclusive cookbook deal. 

It seemed the duo could not believe they’d won, with Kasey uttering “Holy moley” while Karena burst into tears. 

The contestants have been living with the knowledge of who won for months after being away from their families while filming for more than three months. 

Stanley, who has a degree in food science, says cooking has always been a passion so “to be around foodies for three months” was a fulfilling experience. 

The mother of three has a few ideas cooking, one of which is about to come into fruition. She is on the cusp of launching a bottled water product in China and is searching for a distributor. 

Stodler, owns Cup & Cake in Queenstown, said creating the finale fare was “definitely challenging” but it was a great episode which she and Stanley watched at the Arrowtown Bowling Club with family and friends. 

“Those girls [the Bird sisters] next to us were awesome,” Stodler says.