Sally and Bella JakubiakThere are very few home cooks that can claim to have impressed and blown the minds of several world renowned chefs. For Sydney sisters Sammy and Bella that is exactly what they did when they won Channel Sevens hit show My Kitchen Rules series two. The girls took a gamble and both quit their jobs in the fashion industry to take part in the number one series, which has paid off and given them a head start in the food industry.
The girls trace their roots back to their Polish and Hungarian heritage through food – cooking is in their blood as female family members pass down recipes through the generations. Their parents migrated to Australia over 30 years ago armed with only a suitcase and a love for food. Their grandmother Ursula is the main source of the girls’ inspiration to cook… she worked as a caterer for various embassies in Warsaw and even had the honour of cooking for Bill Clinton.
The girls’ food experiences started from a very young age. Their families’ approach (“home cooked food is the best food”) meant that they were always helping out in the kitchen and they gained a great appreciation for foraging, with fresh and food taking centre stage in family outings to orchards, mushroom picking and fishing. They live by the motto that fresh, local and seasonal is always best.
Sammy and Bella showcased both traditional and reinvented Polish Cuisine as contestants on My Kitchen Rules. Their famous Beetroot Broth with Wild Mushroom Tortellini was their most traditional dish and a true testament to their grandmother’s influence. Sammy and Bella are now focused on bringing Central European flavours to the Australian palate.
Travel has always been central to Sammy and Bella’s lives, the girls live to eat international food and have since developed skills in cooking food from many different cultures around the world.
The girls are also prepared to try it all – including nose to tail eating which they are very passionate about. Respect for the animal means never turning your nose up at food and the girls take this seriously with some of their favourite foods being duck liver pate, Brazilian BBQ’d chicken hearts, braised pigs trotters, roasted bone marrow and blood pudding.
Since appearing on My Kitchen Rules, the sisters have thrown themselves into a food career with a blog (www.sammyandbella.com) and personal chef business. The girls launched their business spectacularly with a hit dinner party at Larry Emdur’s house, feeding 10 celebrities including Tom Williams, George Hourvadas and of course Pete Evans and Manu Feildel who judged their food 11/10.
The girls plan on expanding their food careers by hosting cooking classes and team building, writing a cook book and presenting a food/travel TV series.
Catch Sammy & Bella at the following Tasting Australia events:
Miele Chefs' Showcase - Sat 28 April
Kids in the Kitchen Presented by San Remo - Sun 29 April
Bella started her working life in the fashion marketing industry (having attained a Commerce and Science degree from the University of Sydney majoring in Management and Psychology) before finding her true calling in the food industry, and she’s not looking back.
Growing up in a food obsessed family made Bella and her sister Sammy’s approach to food seem normal, “I thought everyone loved food the way we do”! Their family’s connection with food is anything but, with their grandmother “Ula”, a diplomatic caterer in Poland who has cooked for the likes of Bill Clinton, passing down her recipes through generations of women in the family.
International food is a real passion for Bella, who has regularly travelled through Europe (France, Spain, Germany, Poland) and Asia (Singapore, HK, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand), exploring authentic food and replicating those dishes in her home kitchen. The broadness and experience of her pallet has allowed her to master dishes such as Hainan Chicken Rice.
Freshness of produce has always been paramount, Bella’s obsession with wild food and growing her own produce fuelling many signature dishes. From wild mushroom foraging, to making hare pate from her fathers’ hunting trips, Bella is not scared of using interesting ingredients. Nose to tail eating is also key to her food philosophy, with dishes regularly featuring ingredients such as blood pudding.
Since winning the coveted crown of My Kitchen Rules champion 2011, Bella has embarked on a rich food media career.
Sammy Jakubiak is a young foodie on the rise – she and her sister Bella won Series 2 of the popular TV series My Kitchen Rules, and has just started up her first business in the food industry.
Born and raised on Sydney’s Eastern beaches Sammy’s passion for cooking was discovered early on.
“Coming from an all polish family where life revolves around food, it was easy to become immersed in it. My mum never believed take away so every night we have a home cooked meal, and soon as I was old enough to help out I was in there every day”
“At the age of 17, I decided I wanted to do something creative so I signed up to do an interior design degree. I soon realised it wasn’t quiet for me and moved into the fashion industry where I worked as a manager and buyer for several years.”
Sammy found that she was always looking for a way to express herself creatively but never in a million years did she think of doing that through food. That was until a good friend pushed her and her sister Bella to sign up for My Kitchen Rules.
“We applied for My Kitchen Rules and it just felt right. We were going through the audition process and Bella and I could just feel it in our hearts that this is what we are meant to be going. After we got the news that we had made it onto the show we didn’t hesitate for a second and quit our jobs the very next day.”
Sammy and her sister were the favourite to win from the very beginning with Judges Pete Evans and Manu Fieldel praising their approach to food and the dishes they created, often receiving 10/10.
Sammy being the youngest contestant on the show felt the need to really shine and show that age isn’t a factor and anyone can cook. This determination led her and her sister to be crowned My Kitchen Rules Champions of 2011.
Since her experience on My Kitchen Rules Sammy and Bella have launched her food Blog Sammyandbella.com sharing all they know and love about food. She has also started a catering business with the first client being Larry Emdur of The Morning Show on Ch7. They cooked a lavish 3-course dinner at Larry’s home for 10 celebrities to again rave reviews.
As well as catering dinner events Sammy has combined her passion for food with writing her cookbook memoir with her sister and hosting cooking classes and demonstrations for aspiring cooks.
Sammy’s love for food, talent and youth are a recipe for success.