PRAYER was an added ingredient in the culinary success of Brisbane’s “Issy and Sofia” in the inaugural Junior Masterchef series on Network Ten.
“I heard our classmates said lots of prayers for us,” winner Issy (whose surname is protected for confidentiality) of All Hallows School, Brisbane, said.
“The school was great and helped us heaps … encouraging us throughout the competition and helping us with the work we missed.”
The Year 7 twins and Mum Sylvana spent the months taping the show in Sydney as Brisbane classmates remained glued to television screens during the Masterchef routine of classes, challenges and eliminations.
“We were all thrilled when both reached the final four,” All Hallows Middle School director Glenda Rodgers said.
“There is so little difference between them in terms of their expertise … it was wonderful to see how much they supported one another along the way.”
Issy took out the title in the final aired on November 7 with Sylvana saying she was proud of how both daughters “conducted themselves and cared for each other”.
“It was that moment as a parent where you feel in awe and inspired as it was a true reflection of who they are as people,” she told The Catholic Leader.
“(And) for this I am so happy and proud of them.”
With much support from family, especially dad Simon, younger brothers Ruben and Roman and “Nonna” Rosa – whose Italian cooking styles have been made famous by the show – Sylvana said the girls “seemed to have grown into young ladies”.
“My sons went and stayed with their dad up north in a country school where he is acting principal,” she said, then speaking of support from Simon’s mother Rita, also a culinary whiz.
“The time and process (of Junior Masterchef) was a special time with the girls and a celebration of them – a re-visiting of celebrating who they are and my love for them.”
Sylvana passed on her generational love of cooking and joy of eating together to her daughters from when they were barely walking.
“We both started cooking when we were one,” Sofia said.
“Mum would say, ‘Would you like to have a tea party today?’ and then would actually make the food for the tea party.
“We’d get dressed up for it wearing pearls too.”
Issy added her fond recollections.
“I remember preparing the food – like decorating the gingerbreads and bringing out all the things to set up the table,” she said. “We just loved it – they are special memories.”
See next week’s Leader for more about what the girls are cooking up for the family this Christmas.