Christine Ha

Christine Ha in a kitchen wearing a white Chef's jacket, image from Insider.com

People often ask me if there are any other blind chefs in my network.  And sadly, I know of no such association. I do, however, know of one blind cook that I do admire for several reasons: Christine Ha, winner of the 2012 Masterchef cooking contest. She is blind and competed with other talented sighted cooks while being held to the same standards, time frames, and challenges. The only help allowed to her was an assistant to be her eyes in the pantry and for gathering needed equipment. The assistant could not make any suggestions or add any information to the challenge. Their job was to help her locate the items she needed.

Christine Ha in a kitchen wearing a white Chef's jacket, image from Insider.com
Christine Ha in a kitchen wearing a white Chef’s jacket, image from Insider.com

Her tenacity and talent make her more than a competitive force. She won the competition! At the same time, she made a positive influence on the public’s perceptions of what people who are blind can accomplish.

I always like to hear the stories of blind people who make a difference in the world. Christine is not only an accomplished cook, restaurant owner, and cookbook author, she is also a voice for more accessibility in the world.

In the TED Talk linked below she goes into detail about her life story and her “blind grievances” about inaccessible technology, entertainment, and the exclusive nature of the world for people who are “different” in some way. She notes that because of aging, accidents, genetics, etc, we are all “temporarily abled” and it is in all our best interests to make the world a more accessible place since chances are, someday, sooner or later, our parents, our children or friends may benefit from a more accessible world. I love the way she is using her platform as a blind cook to influence others to think in a more accessible way. It inspires me to use The Blind Kitchen platform to also make the world a more accessible place – starting in the kitchen!  Watch Christine’s TED talk here:

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