Matt Golinski competes in the 10km run with friends and family in the Sunshine Coast Marathon and Community Run Festival.
Matt Golinski competes in the 10km run with friends and family in the Sunshine Coast Marathon and Community Run Festival. Patrick Woods

Matt Golinski winning his race after agony of tragic loss

CELEBRITY chef Matt Golinski has spoken of waking up after months in an induced coma and being told the "mind-blowing" news that all he treasured in life - his wife and three daughters - had died at their Tewantin home in a Boxing Day fire.

"Yeah, it's been incredible," he told Seven's Today Tonight program during his first on-air interview.

"It blew my mind actually to be honest, when I did wake up after eight weeks ... and, you know, it was a tough time.

"People started telling me what was going on around me ... it was like wow, you know."

The searing pain Matt felt after receiving 40% burns to his body when he tried to save his family in 2011 was coupled with the emotional agony of losing his wife Rachael and their three young daughters, Starlia, Willow and Sage.

In the interview last night, filmed while taking part in a fundraising Cape to Cape marathon relay run at Margaret River with fellow burns survivor Grazi Lisciotto and Bali bombing victim Peter Hughes, Matt told how exercise helped in his battle to remain sane.

"I've just got to focus on that, focus on getting myself fit and healthy and keeping my mind healthy," Matt said.

"And running has a lot to do with that as well ... it does clear your head and keeps that adrenaline rushing.

"And that's an important part of mentally staying happy and sane ... and that's the battle that I face at the moment. Setting goals is an important part of recovery."

Matt also frankly assesses his progress in getting on with his life and how public support has been vital to his recovery.

"I'm doing the best I can, so it's really good," he said.

"I've got a lot of support and you know, take it day by day ... that's all you can do really at the end of the day.

"I do have the love of the nation behind me and all the support and it's great."

Matt said that doing the relay run to raise funds for the Peter Hughes Burns Foundation "is the next step in where your journey's taking you".

"So once you've achieved this, move on to the next thing."

And the very next big thing he wants to do is write a cookbook - a goal that has always been put on the backburner until now.

"I cook a lot. I'm working on a book at the moment, so that's my big focus until they do operate on me," he said.

"And I figured I might as well do this book that I've been talking about for 20 years ... it's time. I've got no excuses anymore."