Jake and Elle react to ‘bittersweet’ MKR win
Jake and Elle Harrison have described their My Kitchen Rules win as "bittersweet" considering the challenges facing the hospitality industry.
The Brisbane siblings' Eat Street stall, Jake and Elle's Kitchen, has been forced into temporary closure due to the coronavirus restrictions, meaning plans to reinvest their $100,000 prize money - which they won on the Channel 7 cooking show on Tuesday night - in their food business have been stalled.
"It's a bittersweet moment because so many friends are struggling in the industry," said Elle, 28, who watched the finale with Jake and a small group of friends at his Brisbane apartment after ordering take away to support their favourite restaurant.
"We have staff we have to look after. I've got a little one. It's such a shame. We are still hoping to reinvest it all back in the business but that could be months. It's something to look forward to, but it is scary."
Jake, 27, said it was the first time the siblings had been out of work in a decade.
"We didn't want to use the money on surviving, we wanted to use it to grow the business," he said.
The siblings said they would use the time in isolation to workshop new menu ideas with a goal to expand their Eat Street stall and open a new street-style venue in Brisbane once the hospitality restrictions are lifted.
After an anxious wait over the last few months to find out whether or not they beat fellow Queenslanders Dan and Steph Mulheron - who beat them in the 2013 MKR Grand Final - Jake and Elle watched the result live on Tuesday night with a bottle of prosecco in hand to celebrate.
Their parents, who recently relocated to their home country of Malta, watched along on video chat and were in tears when the results were read out.
"We had more cooking knowledge, more skill and we were calmer in the kitchen. We were confident. We backed each other," Elle said of their second time on the show.
"I'm so much happier that we got the title … that we can call ourselves champions is the feeling we've been waiting so long for."
This season of MKR recorded its worst ratings, with just 553,000 viewers tuning into the finale across the five major seasons - a drop from 873,000 in 2019.
Jake and Elle agreed they wanted to see less drama on the show.
"It's so annoying. I wish it was less drama and way more about the food. I love cooking shows because we love cooking. I wish other contestants focused more on the food," Elle said.
Originally published as Jake and Elle react to 'bittersweet' MKR win