Celebrating freedom and food

Ping Coombes wowed the judges with her incredible array of Malaysian inspired dishes to win the coveted MasterChef crown in 2014 and MasterChef Champion of Champions in 2021. Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director and Head of CSR, spoke to Ping about how MasterChef has allowed her the freedom to do what she loves every day.

Ping Coombes grew up in Ipoh, a town in Malaysia known as a foodie hotspot for those seeking authentic Malaysian cuisine. But it wasn’t until she moved to the UK in 2000 to study that a craving for home led her to try her hand at some treasured family recipes.

It’s humbling to know that even MasterChefs have to start somewhere. Ping openly admits there were more than a few failed experiments and panicked phone calls back to her mum in Malaysia. Fast forward a few years and it wasn’t long before friends who’d willingly volunteered to be guinea pigs were encouraging her to enter MasterChef UK.

Since winning the title (something that still gives her goosebumps) Ping has gone on to share her passion for cooking and love for Malaysia at every opportunity. Her debut cookbook MALAYSIA features some mouth-watering recipes that bring exciting flavours, textures and aromas of Malaysia.

Ping also runs Ping’s Makan Club, a monthly supper club and social experience, designed to be one big dinner party across a range of venues in Bath. After what feels like a lifetime, she’s thrilled to be back in the kitchen doing what she does best – feeding people!

Another string to her bow and absolute passion project is her cookery school, Ping’s Masak Club, which she runs from her home kitchen in Wiltshire. With a maximum of six students at one time, classes are personal, intimate, and a brilliant opportunity to learn how to create Ping’s Malaysian signatures and popular street food dishes.

And for those who enjoy eating rather than cooking, Ping at Home, gives those craving flavours of the Orient the chance to have delicious readymade meals delivered to the door, cooked by the Masterchef herself.

In between all of this, Ping is busy raising her two young daughters, travelling around the UK championing Malaysian cuisine, appearing on TV and working with her many partners.

We are delighted that Ping will be joining us for our latest Freedom client event – a virtual cookalong powered by The Cookaway, who specialise in world cuisine recipe boxes and Ping is their Malaysian Chef. She has worked with The Cookaway team to create seven delicious menus, all using premium ingredients specially selected together with her. Later this month Ping will be guiding our Freedom clients through how to make her signature dish – Chicken Rendang.

Our Freedom service brings together all of our expertise with the aim of helping you achieve your own financial goals. As well as a level of service which combines our tax, estate and financial planning knowledge, Freedom clients can enjoy exclusive invitations to Freedom events and access to a Travel Club. Contact us to find out more about our Freedom service.