Māori cooking duo help raise $135k for charity

By Rahia Timutimu

Former 'My Kitchen Rules' contestants and Māori chefs Hera Te Kurapa and Natasha Whitewood are still cooking together, this time for a good cause, fundraising for the ‘Rotorua Supper Club’ under the umbrella of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

The annual event, in its tenth year, which was sponsored by the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside and Westend New World, attracted nearly 400 people and the duo helped raise $135,541.

The event involves the Rotorua community who gather in support of not only RMHC New Zealand but also the Rotorua Family Retreat, who provide holiday accommodation free of charge for families affected by a child’s long-term illness or bereavement.

This was the second time the duo have been asked to help with the event and they didn’t hesitate to do it all over again.

“Supporting this kaupapa has always been something myself and Tash love to do...giving back to our people and to our community,” says Te Kurapa, “For me anything to do with tamariki, I am 100% behind it.”

“On the menu this year myself and Tash displayed and explored with flavours that you can forage, hunt or gather from the land.  The guests were entertained all night and were fed great kai.  With the pūtea raised, we are so thankful to all of those whom purchased tickets and donated as this will go towards putting a smile on someones pēpi and bring a whānau together to enjoy something special,” says Te Kurapa.

Since 'My Kitchen Rules', both chefs have been busy working towards their own personal goals.   Natasha will release a book next month and Hera is anticipating the launch of her very own cooking show, 'Easy Eats', on Māori Television on the 30th of April.