Houston Matters

How Being Blind Made Houston’s Christine Ha A Better Cook

The local chef and winner of the third season of Masterchef has opened her first restaurant, The Blind Goat.

Chef Christine Ha
Houston chef Christine Ha has opened her first restaurant, The Blind Goat, whose name is a nod to both her visual impairment and her astrological sign.

Houstonian Christine Ha is a terrific cook. Need proof? It came in 2012 during the third season of the cooking competition show, Masterchef.

Ha, who is legally blind, defeated all comers to win the competition.

Gordon Ramsay and Christine Ha on Masterchef
Chef/host Gordon Ramsay and Houston’s Christine Ha on season three of Masterchef.

She says she won not despite her severe visual impairment, but because of it.

“Losing my vision helped me I think become a better cook because I had to pay much more attention to the other senses,” Ha tells Houston Matters producer Brenda Ruiz.

“Because I had one less sense now I’m depending a lot more on my sense of smell and taste and touch,” she said. “And so I think my cooking has become more nuanced because I lost my vision.”

Ha just opened her first restaurant in downtown called The Blind Goat, whose name is a nod to both her visual impairment and her astrological sign (she was born in the year of the goat).

Food From The Blind Goat
A dish from Christine Ha’s restaurant The Blind Goat, which is billed as a modern Vietnamese gastropub.

In the audio above, she and Brenda meet up at the restaurant — which Ha describes as a modern Vietnamese gastropub — and talk about what inspires her cooking and how her visual impairment translates into how her food tastes.

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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