PS: How did it feel to come so close to winning the title and losing by such a small margin?
Valerie: We had come through this whole experience through sheer hard work. It really was very hard and stressful, that's why things fell by the wayside, because it wasn't easy. And to come this far and so close, I can't have regrets about anything. We did our level best and got to the final. If you asked me two years ago if I'd be in an MKR final, I would've just laughed. Courtney and I are very happy. We did lose, but we did our best.
PS: You guys drew on a lot of family recipes and tradition over the competition — were you ever concerned that it would get repetitive or were you confident in what you knew?
Valerie: I think people who understand food will understand that it's not repetitive. We didn't want to be known as the Indian or curry cooks, because we certainly aren't that. I learnt to cook from my dad, and at the end of the day, my daughter's born in Australia, so she's got her own way of cooking. We're evolving as the years go past, so that's what we wanted to show in our cooking. Yes, I've got this very traditional background which I absolutely adore, is so interesting and makes for beautiful cuisine, but we're definitely not just curry cooks. Maybe people who don't understand might think it's repetitive, but if you know how to cook spicy food, it's very intricate and there's a real skill to it. So I hope Australia appreciated it, I think they did.
PS: What was the one thing that surprised you most over the competition?
Valerie: When we produced for the food for the judges, they actually hadn't tasted a lot of the dishes before. That was such a surprise to myself and Courtney, because we had to explain to them how to eat it and what to do. That was a bit of an eye-opener, to think that these guys were so well-travelled and are professional chefs, and yet this was something new to them.