Determined to make a difference to his industry, My Kitchen Rules contestant and Cert III qualified plumber, Dan Gill, wants all plumbers to eat healthy, home-cooked meals.
“Plumbers can’t cook.”
It is a statement that burns for Cert III qualified plumber Dan Gill, the new hot thing on My Kitchen Rules (MKR) who recently escaped elimination house and ironically went on to win the takeaway challenge in the next episode.
“I’m sick of apprentices getting take away food every night,” the 27-year-old tells Master Plumbers. “And it is not just apprentices. I have worked with 30-year-old qualified plumbers who say by the time they get home from work and go to footy training or whatever, they just don’t have the time to cook.
“It’s just an excuse that they can’t cook, everyone can cook and you can whip up a healthy meal in just 10 minutes.”
Dan says he is keen to use his time on MHR to break two things:
- Plumbers’ belief that they can’t cook; and
- The stereotype that plumbers delegate domestic duties, especially cooking.
“My partner can’t even cook,” says Dan, who is appearing on MKR with his sister-in-law Gemma. Dan has been dating Gemma’s sister for eight years.
"Gemma and I are doing this together because both our partners can't cook."
Dan and his sister in law had consumed a few beers one night when they decided to sign up for a MKR audition. I thought it would be like Australian Idol with lines through the door and that Gemma would give up after a couple of hours and we’d go home.”
That was not to happen. Dan and Gemma got through to the next round.
“We got the call that they would come to my place the next day for a 10-minute challenge,” Dan explains. “It was crazy. I had to clean the house and work out what to cook. I cooked a vegie curry in a pressure cooker”.
During the cook, the pressure cooker broke. “The curry wasn’t’ great but I think they were impressed with our technique and how we worked in the kitchen.”
Two weeks later they were on a plane.
Dan had to give up his job as a domestic plumber working on new residential developments. He knew he would be away for four to six months. When he returned, his mate and former employer didn’t have enough work for him. Lucky though, he is a plumber.
“It’s hard to be out of work when you’re a plumber,” he says “That’s why it is such a great profession. Everyone needs a plumber at some stage.”
Dan says it’s also a great profession because the industry is constantly innovating and plumbers are constantly learning new skills.
“Look at me; I’ve picked up a new job lining pipes. Decades ago they weren’t doing that; you’d have to dig up the old pipes.”
Dan will be doing his Cert IV shortly to become licenced.
Dan started in the plumbing industry at 17. He moved three hours from his parent’s home to Adelaide to complete his apprenticeship and that’s where he learnt to cook.
“When you leave home you have to learn to cook.” But his passion was enlivened when he and his girlfriend went to Brazil where they socialised with a lot of people with Indian heritage.
“We had curry nights. They were just like our BBQs here. I got to learn a lot. Curries are such good comfort food and they are not hard to cook once you get the technical elements down.”