TV

How has life changed since you were crowned winners of My Kitchen Rules 2011?

We still can't believe how blessed we've been! It's taken a lot of hard work, but we've now set up our own catering business (www.sammyandbella.com), started our own range of products (www.thesaucysisters.com) and run a pop up burger bar at Bondi Beach every weekend, which is always so much fun. Who would have thought we'd be flippin' burgers for a living?!

It's been almost two years since the big day. What's been the highlight of everything so far?

Wow, that long already?! So much has happened and it's hard to pick one moment. Working with Larryand Kylieon The Morning Show has been awesome, we always have so much fun and seem to forget we're on camera sometimes!

To be honest, we're just grateful that we are cooking every day for a living, it's not important to us to be celebrity chefs. We're proud to be recognised by our peers in the industry for our food, not our fame. Every time a fellow Chef or foodie pats us on the back, it's the most awesome feeling in the world!

You had so many great moments on the show but which one/s stood out to you the most?

Definitely receiving a 10/10 score for our Polish Beetroot soup. It's our grandmas' recipe and we made her so proud.

Do you have any funny behind-the-scenes stories?

Ummmmm... without revealing too much, it may have involved Manu and a kilt...

Who do you still keep in touch with from your series?

We love all the contestants and it's hard to catch up when we're in different states. We talk to Daniella and Stefania, Lee, and Ann Marie the most.

What did you enjoy most out of the whole process?

The stressful part was cooking and being judged and the fun part was being on TV! It was a great learning experience to see how the whole industry works as well.

How has it been for you juggling your personal life and career?

What personal life?! It's not easy. You need extremely patient and loyal family, friends and partners. We rarely have time to ourselves and working in hospitality means that weekends are out the window. We're so lucky to have a great family.

You have quite a following on Twitter (Sammy and Bella and Facebook. Do you enjoy interacting with your fans online?

Yes!! We love it!! it's great to have a personal connection and we're always sharing recipes and looking for tips. The best is when people write to us about how much they enjoyed cooking our recipes, especially when they post up their pics on our Facebook page.

Are you always expected to be the resident cook among your friends? Do they feel the pressure of having champion chefs in their presence?

Actually our friends love cooking for us, as they know it's a welcome break! To be honest, once you've been cooking all day you actually don't feel like eating your own food. It's like a cup of tea - it always tastes better when someone else makes it for you! Maybe it has something to do with the big pinch of love :)

Who would you most like to cook for/with and why?

We'd love to cook with Gordon Ramsay... he's so tough in the kitchen! Sammy can be very strong too (she's bad cop and Bella is good cop), so I wonder who will be the toughest!

We'd love the opportunity to cook for our grandma, who sadly passed away last year. She was an inspiration not only in our cooking but also her strong family values and hard work ethic. She was one of those women who never, ever, stopped. I wish we could have had more chances to cook for her so she could have a night off and relax.

What is it like cooking with your sister? Have you ever had a kitchen cat fight?

We fight all the time, but not in the kitchen. We have the same taste in food so cooking together is pretty smooth. We're good at bouncing ideas off each other, and being open and honest if we think something doesn't work. It's great to have a sounding board, and because we're sisters we don't have to tip toe around anything. It makes for a great business partnership!

Tell us what you're working on next...

We've just started our range of sauces "The Saucy Sisters" which are hand-made, the old school way. It's important to us they are all natural with no preservatives or thickeners, as so many products on the market are full of emulsifiers and "E" numbers. People are so busy working these days, so there's no better way to make an easy dinner than to grill steak, chicken or fish and add a dollop of our yummy sauce on the side! We're selling online and through farmers markets at the moment, so the next step is to get distribution in delis across the country.

Where do you think you will be in five years?

Still cooking every day hopefully! We'd love to expand our sauce range and also open up a few burger bar restaurants.

What would your advice be to this year's MKR contestants?

Definitely not to let TV land go to your head. If you love food, then be prepared to work very hard to prove yourself after MKR is finished.

What advice could you give fans of the show who may be considering giving it a shot in the future?

Don't be shy! The show is about food, but also about personalities! Show them who you really are and let your passion for food shine.

Christmas Recipes by Sammy & Bella:

Leftover Brandy Custard Semifreddo with Chrissy Cake Bits
Leftover Ham + Piquillo Pepper Tortilla Espanola
Fig and Balsamic Glazed Ham, for Christmas
Leftover Seafood Saffron Arancini
Leftover Turkey, Coriander and Granny Smith Sangas
Christmas Kingfish Ceviche, with love from Mexico!

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