Jake and Elle (Brother and sister)
Elle, 22, is studying business and law at QUT, while Jake, 20, is studying performance and dance. Elle likes to go to the pub with her girlfriends. Jake is a social butterfly on the Brisbane club scene. And Elle is a quiet achiever, while Jake is enthusiastically competitive.
They clearly adore each other for who they are – and say they learned the value in respecting personal differences from their parents.
Elle credits her parents with encouraging them to be independent and ambitious.
"They’ve never said, ‘No you can’t do that.’ They’ve said, ‘It’s up to you. Try and do the right thing, but have fun.’ Strange as it sounds they’ve disciplined us with love because we love them so much, we don’t want to disappoint them."
But, admits Elle, "They weren’t around heaps when we were young. They had to travel for work. So we’ve been treated like adults."
And from there, says Jake, has come this vivacious pair’s expertise in the kitchen. "We’ve been crafting cheese platters since before I can remember. Cut the strawberries up, put the dates and the dolmades on the side," enthuses Jake.
Adds Elle, "We do all the cooking and the entertaining. Mum just sits back and opens a bottle of wine. We’ve done that since we were like, 10. She’ll say, ‘I’ve got some friends coming over’ and I’ll be like, ‘Okay, I’ll go to the grocery store and pick up this and that, where’s your key card’ … Mum will come home there’ll be the cheese platter, the food on the way and we’ll have the whole thing decorated," Jake and Elle chuckle warmly.
The kitchen is a place that equates to love for them. Jake’s signature dessert for such occasions is Black Forest cake; Elle’s is lemon meringue pie. They do a lot of freshly made pasta together.
"We work well under pressure together. We just click and get things rolling," says Jake.
Both admit to being perfectionists. "I’m a quiet achiever. I like to be on my game," says Elle.
Jake chips in: "I’m relaxed, but I like everything being in order and properly done. And look, we can really fight, but we eventually get over it."