Group 2 - Competitive sisters
Victorian sisters Carly and Emily bring an East meets West flavour to the competition.
With a Chinese father and Australian mother, the bubbly pair grew up exposed to a wide variety of food. “We've had the best of both worlds,” Carly, 29, says.
Emily, 27, adds: “We've learned to cook both styles quite well so that's a huge advantage for us in the competition. It gives us a lot more to draw from.”
Their parents – Sue and Phillip – encouraged them and their two brothers Joshua, 31, and Luke, 23, to cook from an early age.
“We were never encouraged to watch TV,” Carly says. “We always cooked, or were out in the garden or learning to sew.”
Emily adds: “Carly and I have been in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. Mum's got a huge veggie garden and she's always grown fresh produce and had us in the kitchen cooking with it from the time we could walk.”
Their mum also taught them how to bake, which remains their specialty. “We love desserts and sweets,” Emily says. “That's far and away our biggest strength.”
Their tarts are a popular favourite with Emily rating her lemon flavoured variety while Carly raves about her dark chocolate soufflé. “It's perfectly risen and firm on the outside but full of gooey, bittersweet chocolate goodness on the inside.”
They believe being sisters who are “very close” will work in their favour. “It's a huge advantage because we know each other inside out,” Emily says. “I can really judge how she's feeling and she can judge how I'm feeling.”
Carly adds: “There's a hidden line of communication. We've cooked together our whole lives so we understand each other really well.”
But as siblings they've been known to bicker occasionally. “Carly is definitely the perfectionist and quite bossy,” Emily says about her big sister. “She has a short temper and is easily set off.”
Carly is quick to add: “Emily talks way too much and she doesn't know how to be serious.”
Despite their differences, they're each other's biggest ally. “She's a good cook and I love eating her cooking,” Emily, a Gordon Ramsay fan, says.
Carly, who looks up to Donna Hay, adds: “She's laid back so she calms me down.”
They entered the competition because they love the idea of “eating and cooking” for months on end. “I think it's exciting to be surrounded by people who love food and cooking as much as we do,” Emily says.
They both have dreams of incorporating their love of cooking into their daily lives. Emily, who works in music PR, would love to be a food critic while veterinarian Carly is keen to open a vet clinic with a twist. “It would have a dog friendly café attached to it,” she says. “If appointments are running late, owners can sit there and enjoy a coffee and cake while their dogs munch on liver biscuits.”
The Melbourne duo admit they're “super competitive” and winning is on their agenda. “I love the thrill of trying to get somewhere and then the feeling of success at the end,” Carly says.
Emily adds: “I love challenging myself and feeling that same thrill.”