Enna Ye, 30 and May Chen, 25, were both born in Auckland. Their parents emigrated from Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province, and set up catering and food delivery services.
Chen said she had been helping out at her parents' takeaway restaurant since she was six. Although she was not paid at the time, it is typical practice of Chinese families to worked hard and support each other.
"My first kitchen skills were all learned there," Chen recalled.
Her father, who died years ago, was a chef who was rigorous about food, she says. Even though he and left her no recipes, Chen inherited his spirit of cooking, passion and thoroughness.
Parents taught them how to make traditional Chinese Cantonese cuisine, yet as they grew up, they incorporated more and more western flavors into their dishes.
"Cantonese food is surely delicious, but since I grew up in New Zealand and at times I just couldn't resist the temptation of western food, especially the various kinds of cake and desserts. Since my mother didn't know how to make it, I tried to do it myself," Chen said.
In this way, she gradually worked out a series of unique dishes combining Chinese and western flavors.
The two sisters later grew fond of matcha, a ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. There were no organic matcha ingredients for sale in New Zealand at that time, so they opened a shop online.
After they improved their cooking and gained a deeper understanding of Chinese and western cuisines, they applied to appear on My Kitchen Rules New Zealand, a famous TV cooking show.
"It's not an easy competition. We come under huge pressure and challenges. But family members should support each other," Ye said.
As the first Chinese team to take part, it means a lot to them. "We hope to break the stereotyped idea of Chinese food. It is more than takeaways; you can also cook it at home yourself. We hope New Zealanders can really appreciate the charm of Chinese food and experience its taste on the tip of their tongue," the pair explained.
The cooking time in the competition is limited to three hours. Cantonese food is time-consuming to prepare, so it will be a big challenge for the cousins to finish the dishes within the specified time.
"You never know what's going to happen in the cooking process, since not everything will go as we have planned," Chen said nervously.
Therefore before the competition, they have carefully planned every step of their cooking process.
To this end, the two said they were confident of winning the championship.
(Source: chinaqw.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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