Ping Coombes won MasterChef 2014, stunning the judges with food inspired by her Malaysian heritage.
Born and raised in the town of Ipoh in Malaysia, which is famous for its pomelo fruit, chicken noodles, rice and Ipoh white coffee, Ping grew up with amazing food around her and was inspired by her mother’s cookery. She began to master traditional skills, starting with the basics – how to hold the ‘wok chan’ (the ladle). Perhaps most inspiring to Ping was her mother’s way of showing love and passion through cooking, something which is hugely important in Ping’s food ethos.
This passion was apparent during MasterChef, and since being crowned winner Ping has become a Malaysia Kitchen Ambassador, promoting Malaysian food around the UK and abroad. She has given talks about Malaysian food at the World Economic Forum in Davos, appeared at Malaysia Nights in Trafalgar Square, and other festivals including Taste of London, and is involved in MasterChef pop ups in Asia. Ping works with premium ski operator Scott Dunn in designing their winter and summer menus, and trains their chefs. She recently launched Chairman Ping, a street food and catering company specializing in steamed baos.
Ping appeared in The Good Food Channel’s John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure broadcast last year, and recently made videos for Videojug’s food channel Scoff. Ping’s first book MALAYSIA was published in 2016 by Orion Books.