Poh Ling Yeow
Home Town: Norwood, Adelaide, SA
Marital Status: In A Relationship
Cooking Style: Asian
“Food is the last tangible thing I can hang onto that evokes so many memories of my culture in Malaysia”
Poh has lived with her family in Adelaide since she was 9 years old, and while she considers herself to be Australian, over the past few years she has started to want to reclaim some of her Malaysian culture.
“I haven’t cooked for a long time, probably only really for five years, and only seriously for three,” she says. “It’s related to the fact that I’ve lost a lot of my culture. I’m very aussie now and when I first came to Australia I wanted to assimilate with Aussie food and I lost a lot of what made me different.”
“I lost most of the culture, including speaking the language and food is the last tangible thing I can hang onto.”
When she decided to enter MasterChef Australia, Poh put herself through her own version of culinary boot-camp.
“One of the reasons I wanted to enter is to finally learn these old recipes that I keep saying I’m going to learn off my mother and Auntie but I just don’t do it. Entering this competition has forced me to learn all these things. I had a cooking food camp before I came!”
“I’m really genuine about wanting to take a trip back to my roots, and show Australia all these new interesting flavours that don’t really infiltrate with the mainstream Asian food industry.”
A full time artist by trade, Poh is used to criticism, and is ready for the MasterChef judges.
“I’m a painter and I’m used to criticism. You cop a lot of flak in my type of work so that won’t be a problem. However, I get flustered and nervous in highly pressured situations and I’m not performing my best so I need to get that under wraps.”
“Being an artist has taught me that you do things that you are passionate about and if you truly are, it will happen. Too many people want to do things for the wrong reasons, like money or fame but to be good at something you have to be passionate about it.”
Her passion infiltrates every part of her life but she confesses that her cooking can be a bit mischievous.
“I read cookery books like other people read fiction,” she laughs.