We’ve had a catch up with Ping Coombes, a Bath mum, to have a chat about her being put through to the quarter final of this year’s BBC MasterChef competition.
With the NOW Bath team having known Ping since 2011, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to have a catch up and find out a little bit more about her time so far in MasterChef.
Below is a quick interview we had with the wonderful Ping, talking about living in Bath, her background and all importantly – what John and Gregg are really like!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your links with Bath?
I’m a full time mum to my 16 month old daughter Alexa. I moved to Bath from Oxford as my husband Andrew runs his e-commerce company Concrete Studious just outside Bath.
We have lived in Bath for about 8 years now.
What inspired you to enter MasterChef?
I have always liked to cook and experiment with different cuisines, and I have watched the show for years. I didn’t have the courage to enter until I was made redundant and my good friend sent me the application form.
I refused to let the redundancy get me down and decided perhaps entering would be a boost to my confidence.. or it might be a mistake!
I remembered thinking ‘what can I loose?’, so I filled in the application, and the rest is history!
Has cooking always been a passion for you/where did you learn to cook?
I didn’t cook really until I went to university here. I was about 21 and craved my mum’s cooking, and the only way to satisfy my craving was to make it myself!
Also I was eager to experiment with other types of food, than those I grew up with, so when I went to uni I started to learn different types of cooking.
I learnt through books and cooking programmes but my mum remains my constant inspiration and teacher.
Who inspired you to cook at this level?
My mum. She is a great cook and I absolutely love her cooking – it puts a smile on my face. I hope to do the same in the future to whoever eats my food.
How were you feeling when you found out you’d be taking part in MasterChef?
I screamed! I was really excited.. the fear came later!
What was the most exciting part of your time filming on MasterChef so far?
Meeting John and Gregg and have them taste my food. It was pure joy and fear at the same time!
What’s been your most memorable moment so far?
My name being announced after Jack at the end of our Quarter Final!
Has your time on MasterChef inspired you to do more professional cooking?
Doing more cooking definitely. I am constantly thinking about combinations of flavours and textures!
Who’s your favourite judge, John or Gregg?
Both John and Gregg bring a certain magic to us as contestants – both highs and lows! One thing though, their chemistry is as real as it’s on television.
And finally, in your opinion what makes Bath a special city to live in?
Bath is beautiful in every way – it’s people and it’s architecture. Whenever I am in town I’m reminded how lucky I am to live here.
The city has lovely shops, a great choice of restaurants and good transport links. Personally I also think the Bathonians are very stylish and beautiful.
You can next see Ping on screen on Wednesday 30th April, at 8pm on BBC One, at the start of Knockout Week. Find out what happens then…