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Ping Coombes

Chef, Author

Chef, Author

Website:Ping Coombes

Total years spent working within the industry?
5 years

How did you get into Hospitality?
I got into hospitality because I needed to save money to come to the UK to visit my then-boyfriend and now husband. I was working in a café at home in Malaysia., I was the only person who spoke fluent English, and most of the business owners customers were expats. It was a posh café in Malaysia, and I remember at that point of starting not being able to pronounce focaccia! I learnt a lot, I worked for 50p an hour, did double shifts and worked every hour god sent!

What was your most job recent (or current)?
To put the Malaysian food on the map, and own it, and I think I have managed that. When people think of Malaysian food, they think of me.

The single most important piece of advice given to you?
After MasterChef, someone advised me that everyone will want a piece of me, but to take my time and find my own two feet. Which was true when I won, everyone wanted something. For 3 months, I hid and took my time to enjoy it. 

Lastly, not to compare my page 100 with your page 1. I think that is really poignant in whatever industry that you work within. We often do not see the struggles of others, we simply observe the success. It can be very dangerous to compare ourselves to others.

What is your favourite food?
My moms cooking, anything she makes. Even my children say the same, she is an amazing cook.

Three dinner guests - who would they be?
Stephen Fry, Helen Mirren and Michelle Obama

Finish the sentence, the future in hospitality is…
Bright!