Family Food Fight 2018: The Samadi sisters are the ones to beat

Yum! Can we get a place at that table please?

By Rebel Wylie
Season two of Family Food Fight has kicked off and boy are we in for some super home cooking this year if Monday night's episode is anything to go by.
And they'd want to have some skills, because it was not long into the season's launch that contestants were informed by the judges, Matt Moran, Anna Polyviou and Tom Parker Bowles that each week, every family will be heading straight into the elimination, unless they can prove they're the best on the night.
Making it to the top of the new leader board is the only way to avoid fighting for a place in the competition.
Over four non-stop hours the families pitted their recipes against each other as they cooked to three secret briefs set by the judges. Tom's dish, then Matt's and finally Anna's.
Taking on the challenge to be crowned Australia's number one food family this year are the super-sweet Giles sisters, Bec and Nicole, from Queensland whose strengths are working with a variety of cuisines.
They're joined by the Pluchinottas, a mum and daughter from Victoria who are all about traditional Italian cooking, and the Tartaglia brothers-in-law from WA, Leon and Cory, who are BBQ specialists.
Then we met Cameron-Bradley siblings, Yoshi and Mahla, who are accomplished vegan cooks, and Carl and Lena Boumerhi, a mother and son team whose Lebanese culture delivers big flavours.
Married couple Ben and Heather Evans enjoy cooking a mix of cuisines and Ben loves to whip up desserts, while Alatini family mother and daughter Trish and Ocean specialise in Maori and Pacific Island food.
But it was the Samadi sisters Ria and Saffa who made the most confident entrance, ready to show off the Afghan flavours of their heritage and determined that their dishes will be ones to beat.
The contestants are bringing some next level home cooking this year. (Image: Seven)
Tom's brief asks for an exotic and spicy dish. The Samadi sisters cook a traditional Afghan dumpling called mantu – a dish they have cooked many times, including when they catered a wedding.
Confident in their skills, they take it easy over the first hour, but it's in the dying seconds it looks like their dumpling skins won't cook in time, that they realise just how important time management is in a competition like this.
Bringing controversy to the first cook is the the Tartaglia boys who cook porterhouse steak with a secret ingredient in their spice rub – activated charcoal. The judges looking on think they might have ruined a perfectly good steak, but on tasting are surprised and delighted in the result.
Leon and Cory prove that activated charcoal and meat DO go together after all. (Image: Seven)
Matt is a meat loving country boy at heart, so he asks for a hearty plate of protein, with 90 minutes on the clock.
A challenge that clearly isn't designed for the vegans in the house, and the Cameron-Bradley siblings completely miss the brief by trying to disguise cauliflower as chicken!
Sadly, for the Pluchinottas timing got the better of them in this round, and for the first time in Family Food Fight history, their meatballs and pasta from scratch dish never made it to the tasting table sending them to the bottom of the second round leader board.
The Samadis are once again confident in their dish - their Afghan rice served with lamb from the pressure cooker topped with carrot and sultana and they're right to be – they win this round and leap to the top of the leaderboard.
Ria and Saffa know their way around the kitchen, and the other contestants should be worried. (Image: Seven)
In the final round, dessert legend, Anna unsurprisingly wants something sweet, with a surprise.
The Pluchinottas redeem themselves with an incredible cannoli, and the Tartaglia boys pull off a genius move by adding popping candy to the cream served with their rhubarb crumble, but once again, it's the Samadi sisters who prove themselves a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, taking out the round with a rice pudding with hidden almonds which delights the judges.
The sisters are now safe from this week's elimination and get to sit back and watch while the rest of the families fight for their place in the competition and a chance to take hone $100,000.
Family Food Fight screens on the Nine Network.