Ipoh born, but U.K. based full time mother, Catherine Chin Wan Ping Coombes won the proud title of Masterchef U.K.
Coombes, who formerly worked as an assistant hotel manager of a private hospital, made Malaysia proud by winning with surprising the U.K. judges with a three-course meal that could’ve come from a Malaysian neighbourhood eatery, including her starter of wanton soup, main course of nasi lemak, and dessert of vanilla and coconut pannacotta with charred pineapple, freeze-dried mango and ‘pineapple and lime air’.
John Torode, one of the judges, is quoted as saying, “For me Ping is a cook’s cook, she gets her head down and she works really, really hard to make sure she reaches her goal. She is pretty amazing.”
Meanwhile, veteran host Gregg Wallace said, “She inspires me, she excites me. And she cares so much. Rarely have I seen someone whose repertoire can span whole continents.”
However, Coombes was more humble about her win, “My mother will be really proud I’m sure. I say this a lot but she still won’t let me in her kitchen.”
Coombes, who attributes her cooking skills to her mother and grandmother, stated that she first started cooking while studying in Oxford, and learnt to recreate her mother’s dishes to satisfy her cravings.
Coombes won the final challenge of the tenth series of the annual reality cooking show, which aired on BBC One in the UK on the night of May 16, over her co-finalists Jack Lucas and Luke Owen.