Christine Ha, a US blind woman of Vietnamese origin, has beaten out 30,000 contestants to advance into the finale 2 of TV cooking contest MasterChef where she will compete against 24-year-old Josh Marks for the US$250,000 cash prize and a cookbook publishing contract.
The finale will be aired at 8 p.m. Sept. 10 (local time).
On September 4, the 32-year-old Houston native won an edge in the season’s penultimate “Mystery Box” competition Tuesday night with a Vietnamese scallop stir fry, according to The Houston Chronicle.
It gave her the pick of proteins in the elimination dish when the choice of proteins was chicken legs, frog legs or lamb, the newspaper said, adding Ha’s last dish, buttermilk fried chicken, was praised by Master Chef host Gordon Ramsay as “modern home cooking.
Ha is a student at the University of Houston and is also a well-known culinary blogger.
She lost her vision at the age of 19 to a rare autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis optica, a disorder in which one’s immune system attacks the optic nerves and spinal cord.
“I love foods, I loving eating it, I love creating it,” she said.
“I feel like regardless what your background, you gender, your religion is, food is something everybody has in common, and I think food is what connects people together.”
MasterChef is an American competitive cooking show open to amateur chefs.
It is co-hosted and co-produced by Gordon Ramsay.
Of all the amateur chefs who audition nationwide, 100 are chosen to cook their signature dishes for three judges.
Contestants need at least two “yes” votes to earn a white MasterChef apron and advance.