Poh Ling Yeow

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Poh Ling Yeow
Poh Ling Yeow in May 2013.jpg
Yeow at the InStyle and Audi Woman of Style Awards, May 2013
Born1973 (age 46–47)
EducationBachelor of Design
Alma materUniversity of South Australia
  • Cook
  • artist
  • actress
  • author
  • television presenter
StyleAsian fusion, Southeast Asian, French pastry, bakery (cooking)
Painting (art)
TitleRunner-up, MasterChef Australia (season 1)
Jono Bennett
(m. 2014)

Matt Phipps (divorced)[1]
Poh & Co.
Poh's Kitchen
Jamface by Poh

Poh Ling Yeow (simplified Chinese: 杨宝玲; traditional Chinese: 楊寶玲; pinyin: Yáng Bǎolíng;[2] born 1973) is a Malaysian-born Australian cook, artist, actress, author and television presenter.

Early life and history[edit]

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, into a fifth-generation Malaysian Chinese family, and her mother is of Hakka descent. Yeow attended SMK Convent Bukit Nanas.[3] She immigrated to Australia at age 9 with her parents and brother, eventually settling in Adelaide, South Australia.[4] After attending Seymour College and then the University of South Australia (where she earned a Bachelor of Design degree),[5] Yeow worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and makeup artist.

Yeow's corporate clients as a makeup artist included L'Oréal and Attitude magazine,[6] the Australian String Quartet[7] and the short film My Last Ten Hours With You.[8] Her personal clients included Megan Gale and Lisa Ho.[9] Freelance work as a makeup artist led to her preparing models for artist David Bromley, increasing her understanding of the art market.[10] Yeow has acknowledged that she posed as a nude model for Bromley.[11]

Yeow adopted the Western first name Sharon[12][13] until age 25, but reverted to Poh Ling as a part of embracing her cultural heritage.[10] She became a full-time professional artist in 2002.[14]



Yeow works mainly with acrylic paint on canvas.[15] Her early works featured heavily textured backgrounds whereas recent works present a smoother, more refined and highly detailed finish.[10]

Elements of her Chinese heritage feature in her work, including the goldfish, a symbol of prosperity and good luck in Chinese culture. A recurring character in Yeow's recent work is one that she calls The Girl, who she refers to in the third person, although the character's facial features are clearly similar to Yeow's.[16] She says "I guess [The Girl] was developed as a cathartic act, in terms of embracing everything that I did hate about myself physically: the broad nose, the Asian eyes, the broad face".[10]

A further theme behind her recent body of work was Yeow's split with her partner of 10 years, with titles including "Was That the Last Goodbye?" and "You Haven't Left and I Miss You Already". Her Mermaid series, with The Girl's clothes fashioned from goldfish scales and fins, is about losing your identity and taking on your partner's.[10]

In 2003, Yeow donated an artwork to raise funds for breast cancer research at Flinders Medical Centre.[17] She was also a judge for Youthscape 2008.[18]

Exhibitions and media[edit]

From her first solo exhibition in 2002, Yeow has been a regular exhibitor at the Hill Smith Gallery.[19] She has also appeared regularly at Libby Edwards Gallery.[14] Yeow's work has been featured or critically reviewed in publications such as Vogue Australia, House & Garden, The Advertiser and mX.[20]

In 2007, Yeow's artwork was used on the cover of the book The Chinese Exotic by Olivia Khoo.[21] In 2009, Yeow appeared in a glamour shoot for Who magazine.[22]

In 2018, Yeow was the subject of a lengthy radio interview with Richard Fidler on Conversations.[23]


Beat the Chef[edit]

Yeow first appeared on the ABC television program Beat The Chef on 13 April 2005.[24] Her auntie Kim Thoo assisted her in the studio kitchen, where she prepared Ying Yang Prawns.[25] She returned to the program on 15 June 2005, assisted by her friend Felicity Electricity.[26] This time she prepared Basil Thai Fried Rice[27] and Deep-Fried Dory Fillets with Green Mango.[28]

MasterChef Australia[edit]

Yeow was selected in the top 20 contestants for the first series of MasterChef Australia from over 7000 applicants.[29] Competition and eliminations began in May 2009. Yeow was eliminated on 18 June 2009 when she incorrectly guessed the ingredients in minestrone.[30] She was one of three eliminated contestants allowed to return to the program on 1 July 2009.[31] She survived further eliminations to compete in the final on 19 July 2009 against Julie Goodwin.[32] Goodwin won the final, with Yeow runner-up.[33]

In 2019, Yeow returned to MasterChef Australia as a mentor, sharing the position with season eight runner-up Matt Sinclair and season seven winner Billie McKay.[34]

In 2020, Yeow returned to MasterChef Australia as a contestant in Back to Win and placed 6th.[35]

World Chef Showcase[edit]

Yeow appeared with Matt Preston[36] in the World Chef Showcase in October 2009.[37]

Poh's Kitchen[edit]

Yeow signed with the ABC for a cooking series (Poh's Kitchen) and a two-book publishing deal with ABC Books.[38] The production on the series began in November 2009 in her home town of Adelaide.[39] The series was aired from 10 February 2010.[40] Yeow was nominated for the Logie Awards of 2011 in the category of Most Popular New Female Talent.[41]

In 2011, the ABC broadcast a second season of Poh's Kitchen, entitled Poh's Kitchen on the Road. Yeow travelled to all Australian states, as well as Singapore and Thailand, to film stories on produce and cooking.[42] A third season premiered on 11 September 2012.[43]

Poh & Co.[edit]

In 2015, Yeow launched a new series, Poh & Co., on SBS. It features various styles of cooking, and also the renovation of Yeow's backyard.[44]

Jamface by Poh[edit]

Yeow opened a gourmet food stall, Jamface by Poh, at the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market.[45]

In 2016 Yeow opened a cafe at Adelaide Central Market, also named Jamface by Poh.[46] It closed on 15 October 2019.[47]

Film and television appearances[edit]

Yeow has appeared in four films: Human Touch (2004),[48] Peaches (2004),[48] Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger (2008)[49] and the Tropfest short film Jackie's Spring Palace (2009).[50] She is also credited as production designer on Jackie's Spring Palace.[51]

Aside from her cooking programs, Yeow had substantial roles in Room 101, Can of Worms, Reality Check. She appeared in the 2013 ABC comedy series It's a Date, along with Dave Lawson.

Yeow said "I've always just followed what I've enjoyed doing ... in all areas of creativity."[48]


  1. ^ Hornery, Andrew (26 March 2015). "Private Sydney: Chef Poh Ling Yeow invites cameras into her home". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  2. ^ "反种族歧视专员称亚裔澳人缺失公共形象". ozdaily.net. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  3. ^ D'Cruz, Neville (20 July 2009). "Malaysian-born Yeow Wins Aussie Hearts In Cooking Contest". bernama.com. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  4. ^ Davies, Nathan (11 July 2009). "Poh dishes up her MasterChef secret". news.com.au. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  5. ^ "UniSA Alumni Awards". UniSA Alumni Awards. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Claire Incorruptible Styling". claireinc.com. 2005. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Australian String Quartet" (PDF). 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  8. ^ "my last ten hours with you" (PDF). closerproductions.com.au. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  9. ^ Meegan, Genevieve (3 September 2006). "Poh a soloist". news.com.au. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e McDonald, Patrick (11 February 2006). "Little China girl". The Advertiser. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  11. ^ "MasterChef's Poh Ling Yeow posed naked for David Bromley". news.com.au. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Masterchef Poh Ling Yeow's secret past". news.com.au. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  13. ^ Thompson, Peter. "Talking Heads-Poh Ling Yeow". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Poh Ling Yeow". libbyedwardsgalleries.com. Archived from the original on 27 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  15. ^ Lovering, Tania (18 May 2009). "Poh Ling Yeow - Adelaide". Retrieved 19 July 2009.[dead link]
  16. ^ Fortescue, Elizabeth (20 October 2009). "MasterChef 's Poh Ling Yeow is putting her art on sale at Art Sydney 2009". dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  17. ^ "George and Harry retrospective raises $30,000" (PDF). The Investigator. Flinders Medical Centre Foundation. Winter 2003. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  18. ^ "Youthscape 08" (PDF). rsasa.com. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Poh Ling Yeow". hillsmithgallery.com.au. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Scrapbook". pohlingyeow.com. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  21. ^ Khoo, Olivia (2007). The Chinese Exotic. University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-962-209-889-3. Archived from the original on 28 July 2009.
  22. ^ Byrne, Fiona (24 July 2009). "Poh swaps apron for frock in glamour photo shoot". news.com.au. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  23. ^ Fidler, Richard (8 May 2018). "The evolution of Poh". abc.net.au. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  24. ^ "The Challengers - Poh Ling Yeow and Kim Thoo". abc.net.au. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  25. ^ "Ying Yang Prawns". abc.net.au. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  26. ^ "The Challengers - Poh Ling Yeow and Felicity Electricity". abc.net.au. 15 June 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  27. ^ "Basil Thai Fried Rice". abc.net.au. 15 June 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  28. ^ "Deep-Fried Dory Fillets with Green Mango". abc.net.au. 15 June 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  29. ^ Knox, David (11 January 2009). "7000 apply to become MasterChef". tv.com. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  30. ^ "MasterChef's Poh Ling Yeow eliminated from the show". news.com.au. 19 June 2009. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  31. ^ "Booted MasterChef Poh Ling Yeow love life heats up with crew guy". news.com.au. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  32. ^ Clune, Richard (19 July 2009). "MasterChef final expected to draw record television audience". news.com.au. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  33. ^ "MasterChef winner named". news.com.au. 19 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  34. ^ [https://tvtonight.com.au/2019/04/returning-masterchef-australia-8.html}
  35. ^ Knox, David (19 February 2020). "MasterChef Australia 2020: meet the cast". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  36. ^ "World Chef Showcase". Sydney International Food Festival. 2009. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  37. ^ Munro, Kelsey (31 August 2009). "Culture club in the kitchen". smh.com.au. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  38. ^ Ganska, Helen (8 September 2009). "Masterchef runner-up Poh Ling Yeow gets own TV cooking show". news.com.au. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  39. ^ Poh gets her own show - smh.com.au, 9 September 2009
  40. ^ Schwartzkoff, Louise (11 February 2010). "Poh's still stirring the pot". theage.com.au. Melbourne. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  41. ^ "Nominees for the 2011 Logie Awards". smh.com.au. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  42. ^ Salter, Iona (24 August 2011). "Poh's Kitchen on the Road". meldmagazine.com.au. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  43. ^ "Poh's Kitchen - Home". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  44. ^ "Poh & Co". sbs.com.au. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  45. ^ "Jamface by Poh". knifeandforkintheroad.com. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  46. ^ "Jamface is Poh's Place - The Adelaide Review". adelaidereview.com.au. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  47. ^ "Jamface Is Closing But It's Not The End For The Much-Loved Store • Glam Adelaide". 17 October 2019.
  48. ^ a b c Shearer, Geoff (18 July 2009). "MasterChef showdown between Poh Ling Yeow and Julie Goodwin". news.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  49. ^ "Hey, hey it's Esther Blueburger". tamafilms.com.au. Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  50. ^ "Jackie's Spring Palace". Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  51. ^ "Jackie's Spring Palace - Main Credits". Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.

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