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Legally blind chefs display culinary skills

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 09:35 -- admin

Ivette M.;; Florida, U.S.A.

A cookery show being aired on television in the U.S.A., ‘Cooking Without Looking’, gives cooking tips and safety measures in the kitchen to blind and visually impaired people. Legally blind chef Mr. Ken Lexer of Boynton Beach, Florida, recently displayed his culinary skills in the show.

Mr. Lexer became blind after suffering a stroke eight years ago and was subsequently diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. It was then he developed an interest in cooking and enrolled in classes. During the show, Mr. Lexer shared tips with the audience, such as how to adjust stove temperature safely and to use pre-cut vegetables or meat where possible.

The show’s producers have put together an audio-centric programme with play-by-play descriptions. Each show features a visually impaired or blind audience, three hosts with different stages of vision loss and a guest host who shares a favourite recipe.

In earlier episodes of the show, other guest hosts have showed how they use different container sizes and shapes to identify specific ingredients, such as paprika and basil. Everything starts with having an extremely organised kitchen, some said.

"The best thing we can do is encourage people who have lost their eyesight to maintain their independence. Cooking is one of those things that keeps you independent," said show host Mr. Allen Preston.

The show also discusses common eye diseases and conducts interviews with health professionals who explore issues such as AIDS and children with blindness.

The producers hope ‘Cooking Without Looking’ will attract not only people with vision loss, but also their families.

Caption: Guest chef Mr. Ken Lexer, left, and co-host Mr. Allen Preston whip up chicken stir fry. (Photo by Michael Francis McElroy)

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