Poh Ling Yeow on Australian Story
Poh Ling Yeow on Australian Story (image - ABC)

Tonight – Life of Poh Ling Yeow on Australian Story

Celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow on reinvention and making peace with her past.

Introduced by Gary Mehigan, former MasterChef judge.

Poh Ling Yeow burst onto screens in the first series of MasterChef Australia in 2009, her energy and daring quickly making her an audience favourite.

“I don’t think she was trying to be a star,” Gary Mehigan says. “Part of what made her popular was her resilience and her ability to bounce back from a disaster.”

An ability to bounce back has been a recurring a theme in Poh’s life, with her rise to fame anything but conventional.

“She’s lived a thousand lives,” says friend and former MasterChef contestant Mandy Hall.

At the age of 9, Poh moved to Australia from Malaysia and quickly adopted the name Sharon to try and fit in.

“I’ve always felt like I’m slightly sort of beamed in from somewhere else,” Poh says. “I spent a lot of time just shedding all the things that made me feel different.”

By the time she auditioned for MasterChef in 2009, at the age of 35, Poh was a flourishing artist, had found and then lost her Mormon religion and had been married and divorced.

“I do often think back to what a wild journey I’ve had, and I think one thing that stands out is that I’ve learned to become really good friends with uncertainty, to have faith in a situation and to never fear things going pear shaped,” she says.

Poh’s television career has continued to thrive, but she’s never far from home, returning to her first love of baking with her best friend and ex-husband for a weekly stall at the Adelaide Farmer’s Market.

“I love doing TV but it’s not quite enough. I’m such a doer, I always want to remember what brought me here – that’s the cooking, not the presenting.”

AUSTRALIAN STORYMonday 14 November at 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview

Media Release – ABC

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