Since winning the Australian competitive cooking show My Kitchen Rules last year, Indonesia-born sisters Tasia and Gracia Seger have been busier than ever. We catch up with the dynamic twentysomething duo in their hometown of Melbourne before they jet off to Bali to participate in the third edition of the Ubud Food Festival on May 12–14.
Tell us some food-related childhood memories.
Tasia: Many of those memories involve our grandma. We’d watch our favorite cartoons with a bowl of homemade mie goreng with prawns and bakso meatballs that she often served for breakfast. I also remember waiting eagerly to snap up her potato croquettes, since they had to be fried one by one. It was love at first bite—the crunchy golden breadcrumbs on the outside followed by the creamiest mashed potato and a filling of minced meat cooked in sweet soy sauce and mixed with perfectly micro-chopped carrots and snow peas.
How are the dynamics of working in the kitchen?
Gracia: People always ask how we can cook together when we argue so much, but arguing just means communication and it shows that things are going smoothly! When all is quiet in the kitchen, that’s when you know something is seriously wrong.
Is there one ingredient you can’t do without?
Tasia: Chili, of course!
And a dish you most enjoy making?
Gracia: One of our family favorites is semur sapi (Indonesian beef stew) with rice and shrimp-paste sambal on the side. Especially on a cold winter’s day, it’s pure comfort food.
What do you have planned for your upcoming trip?
Gracia: We’re super excited about the Ubud Food Festival. We cannot wait to share what we’ve learned with other people, and we hope to bring some fun, laughter, and most of all a big punch of spice and flavors! After that we’ll be joining a seven-day cruise to Komodo National Park for one of the festival’s fringe events. So far we haven’t had the opportunity to venture beyond Java and Bali, so this is a great way to tick some more Indonesian islands off our wish list.
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Spice Girls”).