This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"


Ha smiles after being crowned Masterchef. Photo by Greg Gayne/Fox.

Ha has a rare autoimmune disease that attacked her spinal cord and optic nerve. She started losing her vision in 2004 while she was in her 20s.

Ha compares her vision loss to "looking at a very foggy mirror after a hot shower." After her diagnosis, she worried she'd have to give up cooking. It was an interest she was just beginning to explore and one she had a serious talent and passion for. Instead of shying away from the kitchen, Ha decided to learn to navigate her new reality.

"It's like any other challenge in life; you just face it head on and hope for the best," she said in one of her recent videos.

Ha on "Masterchef Celebrity Showdown." Photo by Michael Becker/Fox.

A seasoned chef, Ha leans into her other senses to bring her culinary creations to life.

In a recent video for her YouTube channel, Ha wears a GoPro camera while expertly preparing a mouthwatering meal of steamed whole snapper with black bean sauce and blistered green beans. She describes it as a "typical weeknight meal," the very thought of which separates home cooks from Masterchefs.

At home, she keeps her kitchen organized so she can find all of her ingredients at a moment's notice.

All GIFs via Christine Ha/YouTube.

Ha is patient, taking her time to feel, smell, prep, and cut ingredients.

She sometimes uses adaptive tools, but much of her cooking is done by touch. She deftly guides her knife to accomplish intricate cuts.

Just like a sous chef in a professional kitchen, sometimes Ha's partner lends a quick hand.

Ha uses cooking, food, and telling her story to connect and communicate with people around her.

Preparing and sharing meals is a great way to unite people and celebrate what makes each of us unique. Plus, you get to eat tasty food with your favorite people. And if it's Gordon Ramsay approved, it's that much sweeter.

Watch Christine Ha make a delicious dinner ... just maybe not while you're hungry.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less