Ping Coombes wins MasterChef 2014

Maldon and Burnham Standard: MasterChef 2014 champion Ping Coombes shows off her trophy (Plank PR/PA) MasterChef 2014 champion Ping Coombes shows off her trophy (Plank PR/PA)

Former hotel manager Ping Coombes has been crowned MasterChef 2014 champion.

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 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."

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 Andred 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 on 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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