Childhood friends Charlotte Brown and Maddie Hunt were full of mischief at high school, but when it comes to competing on My Kitchen Rules New Zealand, these Auckland students are sweet as candy.
“We were troublemakers, but only when we were together,” recalls Maddie, 20.
“By ourselves, we were these little shy things, but when we got together, we were like werewolves!”
However, when asked if that means they’ll be cooking up drama on the TVNZ 2 series, the girls dissolve into giggles.
“No!” they insist in unison, before Maddie adds, “I think we’re just loud.”
When the dynamic duo come together for their Woman’s Day photo shoot, the volume is definitely there and the laughter is constant – especially as they walk arm-in-arm to balance in their teetering high heels.
The inseparable pair first met when they were 14, just after Maddie had moved to Aotearoa from Australia.
The brunette beauty recalls, “I was so insecure because everyone in school already had their friends and I was this little Australian girl with my accent. I felt really out of place.”
Lonely Maddie was on the hunt for a mate when she bumped into Charlotte. Though they now share an inseparable bond, things didn’t get off to a good start.
“I already had a best friend, then she came along,” explains 19-year-old Charlotte. “At first, I was put off by this new girl – she followed me to lunch and I couldn’t get rid of her!”
Maddie chimes in, “But when I first saw Charlotte, she was throwing popcorn at the roof and trying to get the fan to spin it. I knew then I wanted to be her friend.”
Her determination paid off and Maddie found a new role as Charlotte’s best buddy.
Their days of popcorn pranks have now blossomed into cooking meals together and working part-time in catering.
“It started off with we didn’t want what Mum was making for dinner, so we just made our own,” jokes Maddie.
Charlotte’s now a passionate foodie who hopes to finish her diploma in culinary arts this year, and makes videos about food and health for her YouTube channel in her spare time.
Meanwhile, Maddie is studying law at the University of Auckland – but cooking is more than just a hobby. She says, “Uni is a pretty intense environment, so food is something that I love and it’s become an outlet for me.”
Despite being the youngest contestants on MKR, the girls aren’t letting their age stop them.
“We’ve grown up a lot since being on the show,” tells Maddie.
Nodding, Charlotte adds, “We weren’t intimidated about our age at any point.”
The highlight of the whole experience for the two young women has been meeting their fellow contestants.
Charlotte tells, “We’re really close with everyone on the show. Although I think they’re probably a bit annoyed we got along so well!”
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