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Ping Coombes, MasterChef winner

Cook – and eat – magnificent Malaysian food with Ping Coombes, MasterChef winner

Ping Coombes wowed the judges with her skill, creativity and an array of incredible Malaysian-inspired dishes to win the coveted MasterChef crown in 2014.  She’s been sharing her passion (and recipes) for Malaysian cuisine ever since.

Malaysia’s diverse heritage and culture is reflected in its food, with Chinese, Malay, Indian and other influences thrown into the mix. Of course, Ping adds her own unique touch to each dish.

Although Ping grew up in Ipoh, a town in Malaysia famed for its cuisine, it was only when she came to study in the UK that she started to cook Malaysian food to remind her of home – and it’s her mother’s cooking that has inspired her the most. After years of creating dishes for family and friends, she entered MasterChef and, well, you know the rest.

Ping will teach you how to cook Malaysian classics and street food like chicken satay, laksa, nasi lemak and beef rendang as well some of her own signature dishes at her cookery school Ping’s Masak Club (masak means ‘cook’).  Held in Ping’s own kitchen at a her home in a village near Bath, with a maximum of six students (reduced to four due to Covid), classes are hands on and fun. Classes resume in October 2020. Click here for the latest info.

In the meantime, there are online cookery classes. Ping’s Masak Club Virtual classes focus on one dish over a two-hour, interactive session. At just £25, a Masak Club Virtual voucher is a great idea as a gift (or for yourself – why not?!). Click here for more info or book at

Ping’s Makan Club (makan means ‘eat’) is Bath’s only Malaysian Supper Club. Each month, Ping cooks guests a surprise four-course menu. It might be a traditional dish, a modern take on a classic or something completely experimental but it will always be delicious. The Makan Club will be re-opening soon, so watch this space or email

In between all of this, Ping travels around the UK championing Malaysian food, appears on TV (returning as a guest judge on MasterChef) and wrote her first cookery book (Malaysia: recipes from a family kitchen, Weidenfeld & Nicholson). Most recently she set up Ping at Home, delivering fresh Malaysian curries within two miles of where she lives. Don’t you just wish you were one of her neighbours?

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