Poh Ling Yeow is yet another living, breathing example of how coming second in a reality competition is no loss.
She strolls into her very own ABC series with little more introduction than the success of MasterChef. She’s also probably the first reality contestant in Australia to land their very own series. Others who have been given hosting opportunities, were opted to established brands.
Poh is a name just about everyone in the country knows. And even if she was given a second chance on TEN’s reality series (eliminated then returned), she is remembered for her skill, grace and cheer.
The ABC was quick to sign her for her own series following the demise of The Cook and the Chef. It helps that Poh is South Australian, where the production crew for that show could be seconded to this one. And it helps that Poh is also an artist (wherever does she find the time to paint now?).
In the first episode of Poh’s Kitchen, her art serves as a visual subplot. We see her delivering her latest artworks to a gallery, and bringing a cake along as a gift, of course.
Curiously, as the show kicks off, there is no mention of MasterChef. In fact there’s no mention of it across the show -period. Clearly more than 3.7m of us know who she is anyway…
The kitchen is a bright, white homely base. If it isn’t actually Poh’s very own as the title suggests, it certainly passes itself off as a contemporary, domestic home for someone who loves to cook.
Joining her in the first episode is French chef Emmanuel Mollois, who sets about teaching Poh the art of a good croissant. By the looks of things, it is indeed an art to get it oh so right.
At the same time Poh is cooking a favourite of her own, a rather scrumptious orange, layered cake. Each tells the other of the steps they are taking, as a way of instructing the audience. Having both steps of the recipe delivered concurrently was a tad confusing. Roll the croissant pastry here, decorate the cake there….thank goodness for websites.
It has to be said that Poh is an absolute natural. Whatever skills she learned from TV production on Masterchef (and there would be have been many), they seem already second nature to her. She is relaxed, bright, full of joy. And talented. The fact she is also a woman of Malay-Chinese descent hosting her own television show is another plus for diversity on our screens.
Poh’s Kitchen is a breath of fresh air.
Poh’s Kitchen premieres 6:30pm Wednesday February 10 on ABC1.