For the first time ever, one of the contestants on the BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef was completely blind. Over the last few weeks we have been watching with amazement and pride as Amar Latif reached the final six from a group of twenty able-bodied celebrity contestants.
For those of you who haven’t seen this show, it is not for the faint-hearted. Their first challenge is to invent a dish from a previously unseen market of ingredients. They are then sent into various high-end restaurants to prepare complex dishes. This is only the beginning – the tasks only increase in difficulty!
I cook for my family everyday so I am aware of the challenges that having limited sight poses. I watched Amar with a feeling of nervousness and curiosity as to how he would achieve the high standards which are expected on this show, both in terms of the quality of the cooking but also the presentation.
How would he be able to precisely prepare the ingredients such as finely chopping the vegetables or butchering the meat? Would he be able to accurately gauge when his sauce was ready or judge whether his meat was fried or grilled to perfection? Not to mention the delicacy and precision which is required when plating up these dishes!
We needn’t have worried! Amar, who had previously not done much cooking, excelled himself. He made superb use of all of his senses such as touch, smell, hearing and taste in order to carry out these complex tasks. Throughout, his sense of humour and determination were a joy to see. Fourteen other contestants, who all had full use of all of their senses, were eliminated before him.
It was notable that Amar commented that this was the first time that he genuinely felt proud of himself. He had received praise for doing something well on the same playing field as everyone else and not because he was blind.
In recent years broadcasters in the UK have noticeably increased their inclusion of people with disabilities in their programming. They are integral to news presentation, light entertainment and drama. They represent the reality that people with disabilities can participate fully in society given the opportunity.
Related links:- To learn more about Amar visit his website https://www.amarlatif.com/
BBC Celebrity MasterChef https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mtf0