Houston grad student Christine Ha, took home a $250,000 cash prize along with a cook book deal.
Ha has lost her sight gradually over the past ten years as a result of a rare autoimmune disease—but she has overcome her disability to defeat the other contestants on the third season of “MasterChef.”
Ha, the only blind contestant to ever compete, accomplished so much more by eventually winning the final challenge on the show. For that final challenge, contestants were asked to prepare three courses. Ha was lauded for the balanced meal she produced which included maitake mushrooms, braised pork, Thai papaya salad, and coconut lime sorbet.
“I just could not believe it. I was shocked for probably 48 hours. I didn't realize how much I wanted it and how much it was attainable.”
Ha admits she has come a very long way, claiming that she used to be an awful cook.
“I didn't even know how to steam rice in a rice cooker. I was a disgrace to many Vietnamese mothers I'm sure ... I only knew how to make scrambled eggs and toast and instant ramen.”
Once she got an apartment with a kitchen, Ha taught herself how to cook. Her husband now helps her to prepare meals.
Check out this MasterChef Season 3 video of the apple pie bake judging below!
It will make you cry.
COOKBOOK UPDATE: Christine's new cookbook is a smash success and is getting rave reviews... order a copy here with the Amazon link above. You won't be disappointed. Cooking by taste and touch alone is her secret and the secret to winning cuisine. Her book is humbly titled: "Recipes from my Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food from the Winner of MasterChef Season 3."
MASTERCHEF SEASON 4 UPDATE: Christine was invited back to MasterChef Season 4 to coordinate an elimination challenge. The chefs had to prepare a dish from Christine's new book while wearing a blindfold, but not for real. She just wanted to give contestants a chance to "see" what she "sees."