Q & A with Bella (from Sammy & Bella) – MKR Champions 2011 & food personalities

Sammy & Bella

Polish sisters Sammy & Bella Jakubiak first made a name for themselves taking out the My Kitchen Rules title in 2011.  Since then, they have become TV hosts, including taking up a regular spot on Channel 7’s The Morning Show, have started their own catering company and have even created their own sauce line.  Their cooking is inspired by their family traditions and heritage.

We caught up with Bella to get her inside scoop on the top spots to eat and drink in Sydney.

Q: Where do you go to get a great cup of coffee (or tea if you’re not a latte lover)?

My favourite breakfast haunt is Brown Sugar in Bondi, and they do a MEAN iced coffee with almond milk.

Q: If you could only eat one last meal on this earth, where and what would it be?

The truffled egg fettucini at Buon Riccordo. Hands down.

Q: Please share with us your 5 all time favourite restaurants or bars in Sydney.

  1. Ms G’s. It’s never bad, always inventive, and has a fun party atmosphere that’s perfect for a girls night out.
  2. A Tavola. I only eat 1 thing when I go here, the papradelle with ragu of the day is phenomenal. Very romantic too, perfect for a Lady and the Tramp moment – ha ha!
  3. Eau De Vie. This little gem never fails to disappoint, not only are the cocktails delicious but they come with entertainment too!  Cocktails and a show.
  4. Zilver. This place is the king of dumplings, and provides the perfect setting for a group brunch (especially after a big night out!). Classics like har gow and siu mai are great, but my favourite is the prawn roll. Silky, delicious, addictive. To finish, you cant go past an egg tart with perfect crumble short pastry that melts on your mouth.
  5. 10 William St. Not only is the food delicious, but the wine list goes off! An extensive selection of regional wines from Italy, France and the Germanic countries is available, but the real star is the plethora of “orange” wines. If you haven’t tried them, you must!

Q: If you had visitors in town, where would be the first place you’d take them to dine and/or drink?

North Bondi Fish is fantastic for visitors, it showcases the freshest local seafood, prepared simply so the flavours shine through. And it’s one of the few places in Sydney with an impeccable view and an impeccable menu.

Q:  Where do you buy your produce in Sydney?

I love my weekly veg delivery from Ooooby, it’s fantastic because it’s locally sourced, seasonal and grown organically where available. Aside from that, my local farmers markets at Bondi Beach always have great produce and a great atmosphere!

Q:  What inspired your passion for food and what does food mean to you?

Ok I’ll admit… my passion for cooking definitely comes from a passion for eating! Food is everything in our family, it’s what brings us together, and how we show our love for each other. We’re also very competitive… each woman has a speciality, my mums cheese dumplings pierogi, and my aunts apple cake szarlotka will never be beaten!

For the women in our family, cooking isn’t a chore, it’s a pleasure! It’s how we show each other love, how we socialise, and how we get people to fall in love with us!

I’m all about reconnecting with heritage and family traditions through food.  I love discovering other family traditions too, which leads me to adore home cooked dishes from around the world whether it be a Syrian poached chicken pilaf or a northern Italian dish of tortelli d’erbetta, or a Uighur lamb skewer cooked over charcoal.

Sometimes chefs think too much ahead, and forget to look backward to our history, and sideways to obscure cultures and unchartered territories.

The world is so big, and there is so much to discover!

Q:  What do you want your ‘food’ legacy to be?

I often dream of my future as a grandma. Every Sunday my ENTIRE family comes to my house and we have a long lunch at a white table under a weeping willow. I’ve spent days in the kitchen, preparing the most ridiculous feast imaginable.  Everyone is happy, smiling, and a little bit tipsy!

I want my legacy to influence women in the kitchen. Let them know that cooking isn’t a chore, and it’s the best way to bring your family together and keep them together. After all, family is everytihing!

Q:  Tell us something not many people know about you!

When I was 14 I burned down the kitchen in my family home. I was heating a pot of oil to make hot chips, when the phone rang. It maaaaaay have been a boy that I had a crush on… so naturally I was engrossed in the conversation and forgot all about the oil, which spontaneously self combusted.

For some unknown reason, my mum actually let me back in the kitchen after that! I’m forever grateful, because without her blessing in the kitchen I wouldn’t be where I am today.

You heard it here first folks!

Click here for more Interviews