Christine Ha

Okay, before you proceed, let me warn you: if you’re just starting to watch the season 3 of U.S. Masterchef, STOP. You also need to do that if you haven’t watched the finale.

I assume you’ve read my disclaimer. So I’ll go on with the post.

Image from Christine Ha’s blog The Blind Cook.

Christine Ha is one of the contestants of U.S. Masterchef Season 3. She’s currently taking up her master’s in fine arts in fiction in the University of Houston. She’s happily married and loves books (well, it’s pretty obvious judging by her course, isn’t it?). She had snowboarded, skydived, and skied. Of course, being part of the Masterchef means she cooks, and she does it superbly.

All these she does while being BLIND. How blind? She once described herself as worse than legally blind; everything in her world is a blur. So you can just imagine how she’s able to cook with sophistication while under extreme time pressure and even lead a team in one of her challenges. She even replicated a dish for a challenge almost perfectly.

She said she relies a lot on her memory. You see, Christine wasn’t born blind. Around 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known as neuromyelitis optica, which subsequently damaged the optic nerves over the years, until she lost her vision for both eyes. (You wonder how she’s able to read. She’s memorized uncontracted and contracted Braille. And her next reading project is Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.)

She also touches on her memory, as well as hearing and feeling, for food taste, presentation, and texture, to name a few.

My deep love for her went several notches higher when she cooked a crab caviche cocktail using LIVE dungeness crab, which isn’t just wide but very long (and huge!). She prepared it to perfection, never mind if she had spent more than half of her time cooking and getting the crab meat.

To say that she’s an inspiration is I think an understatement of her impact in my life as well as that of the others. She’s a mentor, that one person who asks you, without her knowing it, “What have you been doing with your own life?”


3 thoughts on “Christine Ha

  1. I agree that Christine is an inspiration because she not only cooks from memory, but she plates the food herself and makes it look beautiful! That is not an easy task, so when I feel discouraged in the kitchen lately, I have more courage knowing if she can, so can I. The season was riveting though, to say the least. I started having my Dish coworker over to watch since he introduced me to the show and we made a big event out of the finale. Instead of the commercial breaks, we used the Auto Hop on my PrimeTime Anytime recordings to watch commercial free, and then took food breaks. Everything took an hour anyway, but we enjoyed the time we would have been watching commercials by loading our plates!

  2. she is such an inspiration, since I saw her on the show I was googling her, on her blindness and her situation, I came across her blog and you can really feel the positivity of every post that she writes, she’s really freakin’ awesome.

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