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Ping Coombes crowned Masterchef 2014 champion - try five great Malaysian recipes

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 17, 2014

Masterchef Champion Ping Coombes

Masterchef Champion Ping Coombes

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Former hotel manager Ping Coombes was crowned MasterChef 2014 champion in a closely fought final last night.

The 33-year-old full-time mother-of-one was awarded the title by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace after eight weeks of challenges.

But Ping said after last night's win that, despite the accolade, she still does not expect her mother to let her do the cooking.

She said: "The last time I felt such emotion was when my daughter was born. Something that you don't get to experience a lot. Pure joy and pure bliss that feels incredible. Epic.

"My mother will be really proud, I'm sure. I say this a lot but she still won't let me in her kitchen."

Here's five great Malaysian recipes for you to try

Malay Beef Cury

Guan Chars Kerabu Chicken and woodear salad

Beef Rendang

Malaysian fried chicken

Nasi Goreng Pattaya

Australian celebrity chef Torode said that eating the winner's food made his heart thump.

"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," he said. "She is pretty amazing."

Veteran judge Wallace added: "She inspires me, she excites me. And she cares so much. Rarely have I seen someone whose repertoire can span whole continents."

Born in the small Malaysian town of Ipoh, known for its chicken rice and noodles, Ping started to cook while at university.

She currently lives in Bath with husband Andrew and 18-month-old daughter Alexa.

After battling her way to the final three from an initial 60 contestants, Ping out-cooked fellow finalists Luke Owen and Jack Lucas throughout the decisive final week.

For her final task she was asked to prepare a three-course meal capable of wowing the judges.

Her winning menu featured her personal take on a Chinese wonton dumpling soup, a main of nasi lemak rice from her native Malaysia in a coconut and pandan sauce and a coconut and vanilla panna cotta for dessert.

Speaking about the highs and lows in the competition, Ping said: "I think the time I loved most was my time in Barcelona.

"Spain really does bring something out in me. Spain seemingly opened her arms and showed me her magic. I loved every moment, especially cooking for Ferran Adria, and I felt that anything was possible.

"Apart from my wedding and the birth of my daughter, the time I spent in Spain was truly magical."

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