Celebrity News

MasterChef’s Simon Gault reveals his recipe for true love

Celebrity chef Simon Gault is beaming with pride as he introduces his wife Katrina publicly for the ?rst time. The oasterChef judge couldn’t be happier with his stunning bride by his side, although he says it took some effort to woo her.

“She made me work for it, I tell you,” laughs Simon (47), as he gazes lovingly at the gorgeous blonde. “The number of free desserts and complimentary things I sent out whenever Katrina was in the restaurant,” says the owner of Auckland’s Euro restaurant, shaking his head.

Katrina (36), a senior hairdresser at top Auckland salon Bettjemans, smiles and adds, “We’d known each other for years but our paths never really crossed. I always thought, ‘Simon’s way up there and I’m just a punter who goes into his restaurants.’

oy friend used to say, ‘I think Simon likes you,’ and I said, ‘That’s ridiculous. No way.'”

Eventually the message sank in, and four years later the loved-up newlyweds are in the process of planning their dream home in idyllic countryside just outside of Auckland. Right now the pair are living in a barn as they wait for building to begin next month. “I bought the section seven years ago, then waited until I could afford to build a good house on it,” explains Simon. “When you look out you won’t see another house, which is cool, and we’ll have a perfect view of the lake.”

And it’s a lake that has special signi?cance for the couple. Katrina smiles as she tells how Simon decorated a little dinghy with cushions and throws, scattered rose petals everywhere and had hors d’oeuvres and a vintage bottle of champagne waiting when he asked her for her hand. “He paddled me around in the dinghy, then proposed to me, and I said yes straightaway. I didn’t want to go for a swim!” she laughs.

Simon beams as he adds, “I’m a bit older to be getting married but I’d been hanging on for the right one. Everybody says you have to compromise and I thought, ‘Bugger that, I’m waiting till I get the one I want.'”

The wedding, which took place at boutique Auckland hotel oollies last September, was an intimate affair with just 50 of the couple’s closest family and friends. “You could feel the love,” says Katrina. “The speeches were beautiful and everyone was so happy for us. Simon said it was the most amazing day of his life.”

Simon holds up a photo of the big day and declares, “Look how gorgeous she is! The great thing about marriage is you can have a real doozey of an argument and you know no-one’s going anywhere.”

Since he met Katrina, Simon’s career as a TV chef has taken off, which, while it’s opened many doors for the couple, has also taken its toll. “our schedules mean we’re away from each other a lot, but it’s a means to an end,” Simon explains.

“I never thought the TV thing would happen in a million years. I know that you can be hot one minute and cold the next, and I’m running with it because it’s going to help pay our mortgage. Katrina and I have a strong relationship so that’s not going to get in the way of it.”

Katrina nods. “I’m used to it now, but obviously you have your moments where you feel lonely. I’m just really proud of Simon. He’s worked hard and he deserves everything he’s got. I’m just here to encourage him.”

Adds Simon, “one of the things I love about Katrina is that she’s honest, and if she doesn’t like something, she tells me.

I’ll say, ‘How do you think I look on telly?’ and she’ll say, ‘I thought that looked terrible.’ I don’t want her to say, ‘oh, you’re good darling,’ when it’s a load of rubbish.”

Simon has a grounded attitude to his own fame, and is intent on making the most of it. “I’ve made a conscious decision to embrace it,” he says. “If someone wants a photo with me then I say, ‘Sure thing.’ It does get a bit frustrating at times, but I chose to do this job so I need to be nice about it.”

As for the less supportive members of the public, Simon says, “There are people who don’t like me, but they generally don’t have the balls to come up and say it to my face. They’ll send you an email or put it on Facebook – they’re gutless wonders in my opinion. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion though, and I’m not going to keep everyone happy.”

And when it all gets too much, Simon can always escape to his South Auckland haven and enjoy quiet time with his beloved wife. As the plans for their new family home unfold, the question of starting a family hangs in the air. “We’ll have to wait and see,” says Simon, staring lovingly at his gorgeous wife.

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