A Blind Chef as a Visionary

I’m completely obsessed with MasterChef right now. There are a gadzillion cooking shows but this one is interesting because the competition involves untrained home cooks. I consider myself a fledgling cook and I hope to be the kind of cook who would remember ingredients and processes and make stuff from scratch without notes. If you ask me at this moment to make a pizza crust, I would just stammer and feel lost because the only thing I remember is flour.

My epilepsy or medications (or both!) has clearly affected my formerly excellent memory.

My favorites so far in MasterChef season 3 are Monti Carlo and Christine Ha. Monti is a single mom with a toddler named Danger. She recently got divorced and is raising her little boy on her own in a cramped studio apartment. She strikes me as really brave and, cooking-wise, she manages to produce wonderfully simple but yummy dishes — according to the judges — that surprises everybody. She seems to be the wildcard among the group. Christine, on the other hand, is just completely amazing. She has an incurable autoimmune disease that made her lose her vision so she’s working completely from memory. Although she has an aide who serves as her eyes, she does all the prep work, cooking, tasting and plating all by herself. In spite of her considerable disability, she has managed to impress the judges — who are all professional chefs with Michelin-starred restaurants — with her wonderfully presented ad flavored dishes. Her other senses, especially her taste and smell, has heightened and gave her an edge over the others. Christine is my inspiration.

By the way, I hate Becky and Dave.

I can’t wait to see who would win. 😀


It’s officially the USA’s Independence Day. Here’s an interesting trivia for non-Filipinos and those Filipinos who didn’t pay attention to grade school history. July 4 is also our real independence day. On July 4, 1946, the combined strength of American and Filipino forces drove away the Japanese army and ended World War II in the Philippines. Before WWII and since our liberation from Spain’s 300-year rule in 1898, we have been an American colony. On that date, we officially became an independent nation and never became a colony or territory of any country but our own. In my opinion, our real independence day is July 4. But for some reason, President Diosdado Macapagal changed it to June 12, 1898, the day we won against the Spaniards. Since then, July 4 has been officially declared as Filipino-American Friendship Day.

I guess President Macapagal didn’t like sharing the date with Americans. 😛

So, on behalf of Filipino and Americans alike, happy Independence Day!!!

*insert virtual fireworks, wine and barbecued hotdogs*

I’m off today so I just finished a whole bottle of Trebbiano D’Abruzzo. You should try it. It’s not too dry, not too sweet, has a reasonably light body so it is easily drinkable with or without food. The flavor is subtle and will not overpower any dish. Now, I’m slowly demolishing Chris’ Vendange Merlot. Ssshhhh… don’t tell him! It’s his favorite Merlot of the moment. For those who are new to wine, I recommend trying Moscato (red, white or blush) or California Sweet Red first, and then medium-bodied wines like Riesling and Chardonnay before you graduate to drier, fuller-bodied wines like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Avoid White Zinfandel. That’s just a hint of red Zinfandel, sugar and  grape juice — a genuine bottom-of-the-barrel wine. Yuck!


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