THEY have sweated blood and tears to create the perfect dish but Veronica and Shadi Abraham said their toughest challenge was keeping quiet about being crowned champions of My Kitchen Rules for three months.
Last night, viewers saw the couple pick up a $100,000 cheque - payable only if they kept their triumph a secret, even from friends and family.
"The secret was a big challenge to keep to ourselves, especially because we both have big families and lots of friends who wanted to know how we did," Shadi told Confidential exclusively last night.
"It was a hard secret to keep but we weren't going to risk getting into trouble over that."
The Brisbane couple, who filmed the final in December, were last night seen beating Victorians Noah Rose and Clint Yudelman, with both teams cooking their ultimate three-course meal in the home-cooking contest.
After a skittish preparation of their octopus entree - finished only as the deadline siren sounded - Veronica and Shadi impressed the judges most with their sword fish main and custard and pastry dessert.
The dishes beat their rivals' carpaccio of tuna, roasted duck breast and tart of hazelnut and raspberry, impressing the guest judges and regulars Peter Evans and Manu Feildel.
My Kitchen Rules has been a ratings winner for Seven, peaking last week with 1.6 million viewers.
"We know each other's strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen and while there were some big moments of panic it all came together nicely," Shadi said.
The pair, both 29, aren't sure what they'll do with the money but insisted they didn't want to get ahead of themselves before the finale went to air.
"We'll take it one step at a time but we would love to open our own place, or conduct food tours around Australia and overseas," Shadi said.
The 29-year-olds have been trying to have a family for some time now.
"Money's not a factor in the relationship when it comes to kids. We know that the family thing will come eventually. We've just (got to) be a bit more patient," said Shadi.
Veronica said their time on the series had helped her deal with her self-doubt.
"It was a real learning thing, you've got to have confidence because if you don't you crumble," she said.
"Shadi knows he needs to push me a little bit," Veronica said.
"People say he looks bossy, but it's not that at all. He knows me; that's why we get along."
Shadi, with a smirk, added: "You know what it's like – people say she wears the pants in the family? In this relationship I say I know Veronica wears the pants, but I tell her what pants to wear."