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 and Ipoh white coffee, Ping grew up with amazing food around her and was inspired by her mother’s cookery. She began to inherit 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 was involved in the first MasterChef Pop Up in the UK that was sold out in record-breaking time. She has given talks about Malaysian food at the World Economic Forum in Davos, appeared at Malaysia Nights in Trafalgar Square and prominent food festivals including Taste of London. Ping is the culinary partner for Scott Dunn, a premium travel operator in designing their winter and summer menus, and trains their chefs. Ping is also the Executive Chef to Chi Kitchen, a Pan Asian Restaurant and splits her time between London and Bath.
She also regularly collaborates with well-known chefs and restaurants in hosting pop ups, including with one of her food heroes and Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar at his restaurant Sindhu in Marlow and Benares in London.
Ping appeared in The Good Food Channel’s John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure broadcasted in 2016 and as a guest chef on popular daytime talk shows such as ITV This Morning and Sunday Brunch. She makes videos for Malaysia Kitchen and Chi Kitchen You Tube Channel.
Ping’s first book MALAYSIA published in May 2016 and has topped the Best Seller list on Amazon on regular basis.