Freo Cook Off

Reporter: Mark Gibson

What happens when you get four footballers off the footy field and into the kitchen? They're as competitive as ever. Two sets of housemates.. Hayden Ballantyne and Anthony Morabito in the aprons. Taking on Jay van Berlo and Nat Fyfe.It's a Freo food fight.. and the insults fly thick and fast.

So, what's on the menu?

"Today we've got the seafood risotto which we haven't really had a practice at so we'll see how it goes."

"Today we're cooking a chicken anti-pasta.. antipasto pasta.. yeah."

As the cooks get to work, there's a serious side to all this.. in the world of professional football, what you eat is almost as important as how you kick the ball. "Do they get the message about the importance of all this? -Yeah they certainly do." Keeping a watchful eye is Dockers nutritionist, Sophy Porter."Yeah so is half the challenge the fact that they're young blokes and this is stuff they probably haven't thought about a lot? -Yeah it's certainly something that maybe if they were at home being cared for by parents or living in a host family situation where meals are provided, when they're suddenly living out of home it's certainly something that they need to think about."

Sophy takes the players through cooking classes, seminars.. even takes them shopping."There needs to be a lot more time spent with the younger players over the senior players who might have more of a handle on what to do, possibly live with a partner, girlfriend, wife, who obviously helps a lot with that side of things." Hayden says "When I first came to the club my body wasn't in the best shape but I worked with our nutritionist Sophy, she got me eating properly and got my weight to wear it should be."

Jay says "We just try and keep everything low fat, carbohydrates towards the game and then after the game some protein."

Anthony says "Like early in the week when you're recovering you eat a lot of protein to get your muscles all recovered so you can through a week of training and as you're leading into the games you want to have a lot of carbs not overload but enough to get you through the game."

While Van Berlo and Fyfe add the finishing touches to their chicken pasta..Ballantyne and Morabito stir their seafood risotto. At least this is the only wooden spoon Freo will see this season. Sophy seems impressed with the choice of meals. "They're carbohydrate rich, they are using protein and they're cutting down on the fat by taking the skin off chicken, taking the fat from the prosciutto and we've got a seafood dish here which is very low in fat so yeah, thumbs up from me."

And so, the finished product.. and time to face the judges. "All right we've got chicken antipasto pasta, buon appetite."Dockers team-mate Steven Dodd and nutritionist Sophy Porter judge the meals on presentation, taste and nutrition. The judges score this one 15 out of 20.

"There you go, we've got seafood risotto, enjoy." Risotto is always hard to get right, but they've done pretty well. "I know you love your seafood Doddy. -Yeah you've definitely won me over with the seafood to start with." And only one team can win. The risotto scores 14 and a half.

Four talented footballers.. not bad in the kitchen either. With a healthy eating message for all of us. Hayden says "Well it's one of the most important things, getting your body right." Jay says "If you don't have your nutrition right you're obviously not going to be performing at your best ability."


Nat and Jay's Chicken Penne

Hayden and Anthony's Seafood Risotto

Fremantle Dockers nutritionist Sophy Porter can be contacted at: