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From Four Senses to Five: A Boundary-Breaking Gastronomic Journey With Visuallly Impaired Master Chef Christine Ha

June 7, 2017 Dining No Comments Email Email

While five human senses, working together, allow us to experience the world we live in, celebrity chef Christine Huyen Tran Hà, with her lost vision, demonstrates how passion and talent in cooking break physical boundaries. From June 28 to July 1, 2017, Chef Hà, the first-ever blind contestant and winner of the third season of amateur cooking television show, MasterChef U.S. in 2012, will be showcasing her signature Asian-influenced gourmet food at Ozone, inviting epicures to explore her culinary world colored with imagination and creativity.

From a family originally from Vietnam, Chef Hà was born in Los Angeles and raised in Houston. With no formal culinary training background, she started self-learning at the age of 20, around the same time she started losing her vision. She was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica in 2003, and her vision continued to deteriorate in her ‘20s. Chef Hà described her vision as “looking into a steamy mirror after a hot shower”. Physical disabilities, however, did not limit Chef Hà’s desire to cook. Hence she trained herself to unveil the full potential of the other four senses by cooking without sight.

In 2012, Chef Hà defeated over 30,000 home cooks across America to secure the coveted MasterChef title and was highly commended by the world-acclaimed Chef Gordon Ramsay, “The lady has an extraordinary palate, a palate of incredible finesse. She picks up hot ingredients, touches them, and she thinks about this image on the plate. She has the most disciplined execution on a plate that we’ve ever seen. But the palate is where it’s just extraordinary. And honestly, I know chefs with Michelin stars that don’t have palates like hers.”

A year later, Chef Hà began co-hosting the Canadian TV show, Four Senses, a cooking show dedicated to the visually impaired. Her cookbook, “Recipes From My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food,” won the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award in 2014 for its outstanding effort in improving the quality of life for people with vision loss. Through her TV appearance and cookbook, Chef Hà hoped to connect with and touch other people, not only those who were similarly afflicted but everyone who was facing a challenge, and eventually inspire them to do things they had never thought of trying before.

For four days only, diners at Ozone will have an exclusive opportunity to sample a range of palatable summer-themed dishes curated by Chef Hà. Seafood Ceviche will make a refreshing start to the dinner with summer fruits-infused cocktails. Texas Fried Chicken Sandwich with buttermilk biscuits, honey butter and spicy pickled watermelon won’t go wrong with sips of Kool-Aid Punch. Korean Wagyu Beef Taco with pickled daikon and grilled Mexican sweet corn makes an interesting contrast to the exotic avocado margarita. A surprise main course served to guests who are blindfolded allows epicures to sample a taste similar to that of Chef Hà’s competing dish at the MasterChef finale. To make her first dining event of this scale extra special, Chef Hà will be presenting Hong Kong Ice Cream to end the night with a familiar taste of the city.

Date: June 28 to July 1, 2017
Time: 7pm onwards
Price: HK$980 per person for a 5-course menu
Venue: Ozone, Level 118, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Bookings must be made at least two weeks in advance. For reservations and enquiries, please call (852) 2263 2270 or email restaurantreservation.hk@ritzcarlton.com.

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