Posts by: the Blind Cook

my cookbook is now accessible for those with vision loss

Whether at events, conferences, online, or via Facebook or Twitter, a question I often get is, “Will your cookbook be accessible for the blind?”

“Well, uh, that’s a good question…”

And then I’ll spiel into how my cookbook being accessible was a top priority (it was, and still is); how the editor and publisher agreed (they did); but that in the end, the economics just didn’t make sense—the cost of printing my cookbook in Braille would be too high, and the publisher would have no choice but to pass along that cost to the consumer. And we all know my cookbook may have been a NYT best seller, but who are we kidding? Nobody’s going to buy it for $200!

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in the polyscience: sous vide pork belly bao

Last week, I posted a video about my menu for the Ikea Supper Club: five courses of small offerings that reflected both my heritage and upbringing. A month has gone by since the Supper Club, and I still reflect upon the menu fondly.

The guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy the dishes (or at least that’s what they told me), and when asked which was their favorite, a majority said it was the pork belly bao.

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orchestrating a menu: why i served what i did at ikea supper club

One of the most challenging yet enjoyable things I do as a chef is designing a menu. Lots of things go into this task, and it may not be as simple as one would think.

I’ve always liked to host parties, and what I served often depended on the occasion. On “MasterChef,” there were many challenges (including the finale) where we as a team or I as an individual had to come up with a cohesive menu diners would enjoy. All this experience has taught me well how to plan a menu.

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i was a guest chef at ikea supper club in stockholm

Imagine showing up at an undisclosed location, sitting with undisclosed guests, and eating undisclosed food. I may skydive and snowboard, but I dare not be that adventurous. This phenomenon, however, is the supper club concept, which has recently become popular in Sweden.

The supper club gives people a chance to socialize, often with those they don’t know well (if at all) in a casual, vibrant atmosphere. The venue could be a restaurant; someone’s private home; or, in this particular case, a random urban flat in the center of Stockholm.

This supper club had been in the making for several months, but my being the guest chef wasn’t publicly announced until I’d set foot in Stockholm. I worked with Ikea Sweden (which, in Sweden, they pronounce with a short “i” sound rather than our American English long “i”) to design my ideal kitchen; I wanted a kitchen that had lots of storage space, was intuitive to organize, and aesthetically pleasing. (Yes, even vision impaired people care about appearances!) Ikea Sweden did an amazing job with this kitchen, and I was able to host dinner for two evenings, twelve guests per seating, without a hitch.

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sh*t people say to blind people

The first “Sh*t People Say…” videos I saw were the ”Sh*t Asian Mom’s Say” and its counterpart, ”Sh*t Asian Dads Say.”

Then came a whole slew of SPS… videos. Some were funny, some were not. Some were pretty accurate; like in the above video, ”Sh* People Say to Blind People.”, I’ve gotten many of the very same questions and comments. I’m not bothered by most of the things said to me because I know people generally don’t mean harm nor disrespect, and more often than not, they’re candidly curious. Sometimes, things are said to me out of ignorance, and I usually don’t mind those either. But there have been occasions where I felt patronized by stuff people have said to me.

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being blind doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable

In my last blog post, I wrote about how I as a vision impaired woman apply makeup. I even created Blind Life episode 3: How the Blind Put on Makeup because so many people had wondered how I managed to make myself presentable in public.

This week, along the same lines, I’m going to talk about one of my (and many women’s) favorite pastimes: shopping.

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blind life episode 3: how the blind put on makeup

Later this week, I’m embarking on a slew of event appearances, promotional campaigns, and film productions. (So I’m kind of apologizing here ahead of time should I miss a few weekly blog posts.) This means a lot of time before the public eye and on camera. Sometimes, if I’m filming my TV show, ”Four Senses,”, or if I’m lucky and a talk show on which I’m a guest grants me a little time in the hair and makeup chair, I don’t have to worry about my face. But most of the time, I’m responsible for grooming myself, doing my own hair and makeup, ensuring I’m presentable.

Of course, I have someone else shape my eyebrows and cut my hair, but people are often surprised I style my own hair and apply my own makeup.

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growing our grub: an update on our urban garden

I may cook the food, but the hubs grows the food. Yup, that’s an aerial view of our urban garden above.

The hubs and I began our garden adventures a few years ago after we’d moved into our current home, which had a small (but garden beckoning) backyard. We started off with herbs in a few planters and then expanded to a raised garden bed made from trapezoidal wooden boards purchased from Costco. The hubs has since graduated to making his own wooden garden beds with cedar planks freshly cut at Home Depot. This year, we currently have three rectangular garden beds and fig, lemon, and lime trees (the latter which will come in handy in the face of this crazy lime shortage). The hubs has moved all of our herbs from their pots into the garden bed, and now we have a good amount of greens to sustain our gastronomic needs.

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3 pairs of shoes, 1 tiny tote bag: how to pack luggage efficiently

As mentioned in last week’s post about the iGrill, Memorial Day—thus, summertime—is just about upon us. With the kids out of school and the climate luring us from beneath our down comforters and out our doors, summertime is peak season for a lot of people’s favorite pastimes: vacations!

Almost everyone has at least one (if not several) fond memories of vacations from childhood to present. My most memorable ones from my wee days were of road trips to southern California to visit family. I grew up an only child, so my cousins were the closest thing I had to siblings. We would hang blankets from the top bunk and force the youngest to go through our “haunted house.” We’d play with Barbie dolls or lip sync and dance to the VHS tape of Madonna’s Like A Virgin tour. In my adulthood, some favorite vacations include my backpacking through western Europe the summer after I graduated college, our honeymoon to Paris and Barcelona, and my two trips to Japan. If backpacking has taught me anything, it’s how to pack light and efficiently.

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igrill makes grilling easier for the blind (and sighted) chef

With Memorial Day a couple of weeks away, summer is lurking right around the corner. I can’t believe how quickly time flies. It felt like just yesterday, I was ringing in 2014 with my grad school friends, and just the other week, I was in diapers.

Okay, but really. I have a theory as to why time seems to pass by quicker as we get older. One year when you’re, say, four years old, is 25% of your life. But one year when you’re 35 years old is 0.02857142857143% of your total life. So by percentage, time becomes a smaller fraction of your entire lifetime, making it appear to happen quicker. I know I’m not the first person to think of this. Nor am I a metaphysicist. So let’s just get back to what I am an expert in: cooking and blindness.

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