The third season of "MasterChef," in which a group of home cooks compete for a cash prize of $250,000, the publication of a cookbook, and the title of "MasterChef" has been won by Christine Ha of Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Christine Ha a blind chef
Ha, according to her official website, is a graduate student at the University of Houston, studying for a Master of Fine Arts in that institution's creative writing program. She lost her vision due to an autoimmune condition called Neuromyelitis optica at the age of 19, according to the Houston Chronicle. Despite her vision loss, she has been able to cook dishes unassisted by using her other senses and by being organized. She has used her cooking interests to write for a food blog for the Houston Press called "Eating Our Words."
MasterChef a grueling competition
Ha was one of the 36 contestants chosen out of nearly 30,000 applicants to compete on the third season of "MasterChef." Judged by Gordon Ramsey, of "Hell's Kitchen" fame, as well as Graham Eliot and Joe Bastrianich, the competition was grueling and emotional for all of the contestants, including Ha, who chronicled her experiences in her blog, The Blind Cook, which includes some of the recipes of the dishes she prepared. Like many people who have suddenly been thrust into fame, she finds it hard to fathom. She also comments on how television sometimes does not give the full picture of what went on during the episodes. For instance, in some episodes, she curses far more than is allowed to go on the air.
Ha won the competition with a three course meal
Ha was able to survive a series of contests that involved cooking dishes, mostly during a one-hour period, as well as specialized contests that included running a food truck and serving a barbecue dinner to cowboys on a ranch. In the final episode, according to the Houston Chronicle account, Ha was matched against the other finalist, Josh Marks, a United States Army serviceman from Jackson, Miss. The final contest was to create a three-course meal in two hours and to present it to the judges.
The meal that won Ha the title of "MasterChef" consisted of an appetizer of Thai Papaya and Crab Salad, a main course of braised pork belly with kale and a fried egg, and a desert of coconut sorbet with a ginger tuile. Gordon Ramsey is quoted as saying that Ha prevailed by playing to her Vietnamese roots in her cooking style and her choice of dishes.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
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