Q& A

with Poh Ling Yeow

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - AN­DREW FEN­TON

MASTERCHEF sea­son one run­ner- up Poh Ling Yeow has been one of the more con­spic­u­ous suc­cesses to grad­u­ate from the re­al­ity se­ries and is now a celebrity cook in her own right. In Septem­ber she’ll launch the third sea­son of ABC TV cook­ing pro­gram Poh’s Kitchen and this week she heads back to MasterChef All Stars to set­tle a few old scores. Q: How has it felt to re­turn to the

MasterChef kitchen? A: I’ve loved that adrenalin rush. And it’s re­ally lovely be­com­ing in­stant friends with peo­ple who’ve all gone through the same ex­pe­ri­ence . . . we’ll keep in touch for life. Ev­ery­one has com­mented they’ve re­ally en­joyed be­ing in the house [ now that] we’re not in lock­down this time around. Q: It’s sur­pris­ing the ABC let you ap­pear. Is that be­cause it’s for char­ity? A: Yeah, I think so. I don’t know how it hap­pened! Be­cause I re­ally would have thought it would be im­pos­si­ble. Q: How have your skills im­proved as a re­sult of work­ing on Poh’s Kitchen? A: Hav­ing worked with some re­ally amaz­ing chefs and hav­ing trav­elled the coun­try find­ing some amaz­ing pro­duce, my skill lev­els have def­i­nitely gone up. Recipe writ­ing and all that kind of stuff im­proves you as a cook. Q: Ge­orge Calom­baris said re­cently he expected the con­tes­tants who’d gone on to work in com­mer­cial kitchens to have an ad­van­tage. What do you think? A: Ev­ery­one has a re­ally dif­fer­ent skill set to of­fer and ev­ery­one has such dif­fer­ent brand­ing. Like Julie [ Good­win] is all about home- cooked food. Chris Bade­noch, he has a res­tau­rant but is mainly front of house. Justine [ Schofield] and Julie and I have done a lot of pre­sent­ing and recipe writ­ing. I don’t think one [ skill set] is bet­ter than the other. Q: What are the chal­lenges like on

All Stars, es­pe­cially the dreaded cro­quem­bouche? A: We do re­visit a lot of old foes in terms of chal­lenges, so that’s been pretty fun, and not so fun. The cro­quem­bouche one was re­ally dif­fi­cult, it was a re­lay this year. Deal­ing with hot su­gar and bak­ing is al­ways dif­fi­cult be­cause there are so many fac­tors that can go wrong and in a team chal­lenge even more so. Q: Did you see this com­pe­ti­tion as a chance to re- fight the sea­son one fi­nale? A: Oh, yeah, a lit­tle bit. I didn’t dare to go there too much be­cause I think you have to go into this with a spirit of fun. Com­pet­i­tive­ness def­i­nitely comes into play but I think so much of it is just want­ing to raise the bar for your­self, be­ing among such good cooks. It’s been re­ally tough be­cause it’s such a nar­row dis­tance be­tween ev­ery­one’s dishes. Q: What can we ex­pect from sea­son three of Poh’s Kitchen? A: We’re steer­ing right away from high- end food and celebrity chefs and tak­ing it right back to the ba­sics, tak­ing it back to how food does amaz­ing things ty­ing community groups to­gether. I’m re­ally ex­cited about it.

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