PiYg CoomBEs AD­mits to Cut­tiYg CorYErs likE thE rEst oF “

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Eating Out -

I’mfly­ingto Madrid­to­mor­rowandIhavea mil­lion an­done things to do,” Ping Coombeswhis­pers, gig­gling at her hec­tic sched­ule. “And I’ve just moved­hous­esoIam sur­round­ed­by­boxes.”

But for the MasterChef cham­pion – who has spent the past two years since win­ning the 2014 se­ries in some­what of a whirl­wind – pack­ing up a few be­long­ings shouldn’t break a sweat.

Coombes, now in her mid-30s, has gone on to “spread the word” as global am­bas­sador for her na­tive Malaysian cui­sine; cooked up a storm up at food fes­ti­vals around the world, and landed her de­but cook­ery book – Malaysia: Recipes From A Fam­ily Kitchen.

“No one re­ally tells you what’s go­ing to hap­pen, be­cause ev­ery­thing is so hush-hush,” she says of her crown­ing mo­ment on the hit BBC cook­ing show. “The next day, I had in­ter­views back-to-back and since then, I haven’t stopped.

“But I’m very lucky,” she quickly adds. “It just shows how ac­cept­ing the Bri­tish are of new cuisines.”

Malaysian food – afu­sion of Chi­nese, MalayandIn­dian tastes – has long beenahid­den­jew­elofSouth-East Asian cui­sine, and­growingup, Coombes­dis­tinctly re­calls a world that re­volved around shed­loads of the stuff.

“We had big gath­er­ings,” she re­calls. “As chil­dren, we would al­ways sit down with my mum and dad to eat as a fam­ily, and that’s been in­grained in me.”

Yet while she re­mains heav­ily in­spired by her up- bring­ing, Coombes claims she was ea­ger to adapt her col­lec­tion of 100 recipes to “fit in with life in the UK”.

“I sim­plify a lot of the recipes but still re­tain the flavour,” she says. “Peo­ple want to try a for­eign cui­sine, but to cook it, it needs to be sim­ple and de­li­cious. ”

Coombes still hosts sup­per clubs, heads up her on­line hub Ping’s Pantry and leads pri­vate cook­ery classes so does she ever strug­gle spin­ning so many plates?

“We cook most of our food from scratch, but I do have cheat in­gre­di­ents in my fridge,” she con­fesses. “It’s im­pos­si­ble to ex­pect peo­ple with a busy life­style to do ev­ery­thing; I want peo­ple to be a bit more re­al­is­tic.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.