Masterchef vs. Mum

It was fantastic to see Major Pam Waugh from The Salvation Army on Seven Sharp’s cook-off against chef Brett McGregor (Masterchef winner) and Seven Sharp reporter Lucas de Jong. Pam won with her tuna pasta bake recipe that would easily feed a family of four - and probably have some leftovers too. This just goes to show you don’t have to be a Masterchef to win with your winter meals!

Pam and Brett’s appearance on the show was to promote Countdown’s Food Rescue Winter Appeal, which is encouraging donations in-store and through our website to fill Salvation Army foodbank shelves this winter. We’re so proud to be part of this appeal and very grateful to our generous donors and partner Countdown who are helping feed Kiwi families in need. Special thanks also go to Brett, Lucas and the Seven Sharp team for their support promoting the appeal.

So far, more than 200 people from around New Zealand have donated our Winter Bundle which is filled with the groceries that the teams at our Salvation Army foodbanks hubs have identified as the most-needed items during winter.

How you can help

By donating a Winter Bundle you’ll provide your local foodbank hub and the people they help with food and grocery items that they desperately need during the cold months. If you’d like to support your local foodbank hub and the people in your community, you can donate a Winter Bundle for $29.68.

Try it yourself

Keen to try the delicious winter dishes that Pam and Brett cooked? You can! Here are their recipes for you to try at home. As Pam’s recipe was the winner of the night, we’ve added her recipe and the items she used as a bundle that you can donate - donate Pam Waugh’s Tuna Pasta Bake for $14.74.

Major Pam Waugh’s Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe


  • 1 x 185g tuna
  • 1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • >500g pasta sauce
  • 350g dried penne pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 100g cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Heat oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion until softened. Add the tomatoes and pasta sauce, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently for around 8-10 mins until the sauce has thickened (add a little extra water if needed).
  2. At the same time, cook the pasta following the pack instructions, adding the broccoli for the final 3 mins of the pasta cook time. Drain and reserve some of the cooking water.
  3. Combine the tomato sauce, pasta, tuna and broccoli; adding some cooking water if the mixture is a little thick.
  4. Tip into an ovenproof dish, sprinkling over the grated cheese.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for around 10-15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve!

Brett McGregor’s Quick Chicken Curry


  • 1 kg chicken thigh, diced
  • 1 tbsp Olivado avo oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 onions, fine diced
  • 4 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ cup of hot water
  • 1x can tomatoes
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a pot and bring it to a moderate temperature.
  2. Add in the seeds and lower the heat.
  3. As it starts to pop add in the onions and slowly caramelise.
  4. Next add in the garlic and ginger and stir well avoiding any spices sticking on the base of the pot.
  5. After about a minute add in the curry and chilli powder and keep stirring.Put in the chicken and cook on a moderate heat, add salt. Give a good stir and close the lid, when you notice the curry start to intensify add in the hot water.
  6. Make sure the curry is not boiling, but simmering. After few minutes add in the tomatoes, give a gentle stir every now and then.
  7. When the curry is richened up and you can see the oil accumulating on top, stir, season and remove from heat.
  8. Serve hot / warm.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published