The Hotplate winners Emi and Marie have big plans
EMI Kamada and Marie Yokoyama have big plans after winning The Hotplate.
The best mates, who run Japanese yakitori restaurant Bird's Nest in Brisbane, won $100,000 on last night's grand final.
The women beat Sydney couple Aron and Vanessa Filetti in a tightly-contested four-course cook off with a sophisticated and restrained menu.
They plan to use the money towards expanding their South Bank eatery to other Australian cities.
"Emi and I try to use every opportunity we're given," Marie told APN.
"This one is going to be one that shoots us into the future. We want to expand across Australia. Our endgame is to open an Australian-style yakitori restaurant in Tokyo."
Marie revealed on last night's grand final she is expecting her first child, a daughter, in October.
"I'm trying to put all those tears down to the hormones," she laughed.
"I've got four weeks to go. My hubby is going to slot in for me at the restaurant, which will be fantastic for Emi."
Despite The Hotplate coming under fire for being a shot-for-shot copycat of My Kitchen Rules, Marie said she was grateful for a show aimed at professional chefs like herself.
"I couldn't do MasterChef or My Kitchen Rules as you're not allowed to have any professionally experience," she said.
"The Hotplate gave us a fantastic opportunity to showcase our business and put ourselves out there. We really appreciate it."
The women have seen an influx of new customers since the show began.
"It's been absolutely fantastic. A lot of people come in who try to step outside their own comfort zones to give heart, arteries and liver a go," she said.
"The show has also really given Emi and me a lot more confidence to try new things (on the menu). We didn't think we had great skills in the beginning. We thought all we could cook was chicken."