25 Jan 2006, 03:25:50 PM

Australia's number one lifestyle program Better Homes and Gardens returns to Seven in 2006 for its 12th year – and welcomes renowned chef Karen Martini as its new food presenter to the team.

The Melbourne-based chef replaces Maeve O'Meara, who has left the show to focus on other projects.

Maeve said today: "It has been a wonderful five years with Better Homes, I've adored introducing people to some simply delicious food and shown that it's not brain surgery to put together and I've also developed some great friendships within the food industry...I'm ready to move on and wish Karen Martini well in the role.”

“Maeve has always been a popular part of the Better Homes team, and this year she is keen to pursue other opportunities in expanding her very successful food journalism and Gourmet Safaris business. Maeve is still part of our family and we look forward to seeing her on other projects throughout the year," says Executive Producer Craig Walsh.

"We're thrilled to have someone of Karen's calibre joining the programme”, says Craig. “Karen Martini is one of Australia's top chefs who makes fresh, delicious and innovative food that will inspire every home cook... every week”.

Chef, restaurateur and writer, Karen Martini will bring her wealth of knowledge to Better Homes and Gardens. Karen will share her brand new recipes with viewers and how easy it is to get restaurant-quality meals at home.

Currently the Executive Chef at The Melbourne Wine Room in St Kilda, Karen has been the recipient of countless “chef's hats” during the ten years she has run the restaurant.

Karen's other credits include Executive Chef of Bondi's world famous Icebergs Dining Room & Bar. Testament to her ability to manage this dual-city role was Karen's two “chef's hats”, awarded by Melbourne and Sydney's well respected Good Food Guides, as well as the restaurant earning Best New Restaurant in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

In 2004, Karen opened mr. wolf, a new restaurant and bar also in St Kilda.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team and a show that I consider to be a well respected lifestyle program. I look forward to sharing with viewers my passion for food and all my favourite and new recipes”, Karen says.

Karen joins Better Homes and Gardens alongside the established team including host Johanna Griggs, Graham Ross (Horticulturalist), Dr Harry Cooper (Vet), Rob Palmer (DIY), Ed Halmagyi (Fast Food presenter) and Jason Hodges (landscaper).

Together they will continue to present inspirational home, garden and kitchen ideas and better living stories as well as more celebrity guests at home.


on SEVEN at 7.30pm